‘It’s moment for unity!’ Priti Patel shuts down Labour plans to vote against security bill

Priti Patel criticises Labour MP over 'tone' of comments

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Priti Patel was criticised by Nick Thomas-Symonds for “rushing through laws” to crack down on protests as the country reels from the Sarah Everard case. Mr Thomas-Symonds added that the Government is “failing to address” violence against women and bashed Ms Patel and the Conservatives for limiting their rights to protest against it. However, Ms Patel said that she was “sorry” to hear the tone from the shadow minister as the Home Secretary listed off what the Government has done for women. 

After Mr Thomas-Symonds criticised Ms Patel, saying she may find herself on the “wrong side of history”, she said: “At a time when the country is mourning a significant loss there are moments of great unity. 

“I’m quite sorry to hear the tone of the honourable gentleman, particularly in terms of the Government’s record when it comes to our commitment of tackling violence against women and girls.

“And the right honourable gentleman will also be well-cited of the significant contribution of all members of this house to the domestic abuse bill, which has been under debate, scrutiny, challenge and amendment for a considerable period of time.

“And it is the House of Lords right now but I would like to emphasise that this government has committed when it comes to violence against women and girls at the highest level.”

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The Home Secretary then praised Theresa May who she said “set the bar” for legislation regarding tackling domestic violence. 

Earlier in her statement, Ms Patel defended the bill and said: “Over the past year, during the Coronavirus pandemic, the police have been faced with an enviable and immediately difficult task.

“It is one, for the most part, that they have approached with skill and professionalism helping to enforce regulations as determined by parliament with one crucial objective in mind, to save lives.

“This house approved those changes by 524 votes to 16 on January 6 this year.

“Sadly, as of March 14, more than 125,500 lives have been lost to this horrible virus.

“It is for that reason that I’m continuing to urge everyone for as long as these regulations are in place, not to participate in large gatherings or attempt protests.

“The right to protest is the cornerstone of our democracy but the Government’s duty remains to prevent more lives being lost during this pandemic.”

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