Former home secretary ‘absolutely stands by’ steps taken to protect vulnerable people

By March 2022, the counsel to the COVID inquiry, Hugo Keith KC, says it was clear there had been an increase in online child abuse and recourse to abuse helplines due to lockdown measures. 

He asks Dame Priti Patel if she believes the steps taken by the Home Office helped to reduce the “terrible scourge of violence” being seen across the UK. 

The former home secretary says she “absolutely stands by” the actions of the Home Office.

“They were the right steps to deploy,” she says. “Even in the early days of the pandemic… we knew there would be a surge in demand for people seeking help and support.” 

Policing at Everard vigil was ‘totally inappropriate’ – Patel

Dame Priti Patel is being asked about the policing of protests – and specifically the Sarah Everard vigil in early 2021.

Ms Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a serving Met Police officer.

Dame Priti is shown messages from a group chat including many people within Downing Street, in which minister Lord Frost said rules on gatherings were “close to unenforceable” on the day of the vigil.

The way the Met managed the gathering was widely criticised after they arrested numerous people.

Munira Mirza, who was an adviser in Downing Street, is also shown to say that she knew someone at the gathering and claimed it was “infiltrated by BLM/Trot types who started goading the police”.

Asked about her view on the policing of the gathering, Dame Priti told the inquiry: “I saw the news and just felt that was totally inappropriate policing.”

She added that she raised the matter with the then commissioner of the Met, Dame Cressida Dick.

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