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UK’s Priti Patel one of top 10 worst MPs in last parliament

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel [DFID - UK Department for International Development/Flickr]
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel [DFID - UK Department for International Development/Flickr]

The British Home Secretary Priti Patel has been ranked the eighth worst MP in the last parliament, according to the campaign website change.org.

The new People-Power Index ranks the performance of MPs in the 2017-2019 parliament based on availability to their constituents, participation in parliament and how they bring political attention to mass public campaigns and priority issues.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sparked outrage in July when he appointed Patel as home secretary despite the fact that she was asked to resign two years ago after holding secret, unofficial meetings with Israeli ministers.

The meetings included a visit to an Israeli army field hospital in the occupied Golan Heights which prompted her to look into whether British aid money could be put into the medical centre.

Patel has been criticised for voting for a stricter asylum system, against banning pregnant women from being detained in immigration centres. In 2011 she said the death penalty would “act as a deterrent”.

A staunch Brexiteer, Patel once suggested using food shortages in Ireland as leverage to stop the backstop – a hard border in Ireland – being introduced.

READ: Priti Patel says Syria orphans, Corbyn ‘security risk’

In October she said the surge in hate crimes in the UK is a “good thing” on the basis it indicates police are working hard to record offenses, rather than acknowledging that government rhetoric has legitimised racially and religiously motivated attacks.

The Tory government has long been criticised for fuelling hate crime – the week after Boris Johnson compared Muslim women to letterboxes there was a 375 per cent rise in Islamophobic attacks.

In November Patel blocked a rescue operation to bring British orphans home from Syria because she said the children posed a security risk. Roughly 225 children died in the overcrowded, unhygienic camps after fleeing Daesh in the first half of this year alone.

The Home Office has also announced plans to end the current system of family reunification for asylum-seeking children in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Charities warned children would continue to make the journey to the UK, only they would be forced to make the perilous Channel crossing between France and Britain or use other dangerous routes with a smuggler.

Last month Patel was widely criticised for absolving the Tories of responsibility for their austerity programme after a reporter put it to her that the government was responsible for child poverty despite having ten years to address the issue. She replied: “It’s not the government, though, is it? Everybody just says ‘the government’ as if it is this sort of bland blob that, you know, you can just go and blame.”

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