August 5, 2020

Priti Patel answers your questions

Your Questions Answered by: Priti Patel, Home Secretary

Thank you for submitting your question in our Party’s new newsletter. We’ve had a truly overwhelming response.

What is being done about illegal migrants crossing the channel into Britain? – Anthony from Chatteris

The number of illegal small boat crossings we are seeing from France is unacceptably high.

France is a safe and prosperous country with a well-run asylum system. Refugees should claim asylum there, not risk their lives and break the law by coming to the UK.

I am determined to stop this criminal trade and stop these crossings. That is why earlier this month, I signed an agreement with the French to create a joint intelligence cell which will crack down on the gangs behind this vile people-smuggling operation and impressed on my French counterpart the need to stop these illegal crossings for the benefit of both our countries.

Could we look at ways of raising the profile of our policemen/women in the community to increase public support for them and raise their morale as well? – Dorothea from Omagh

Backing our brave frontline officers and giving them the resources and support they need to do their jobs has been one of my top priorities since becoming Home Secretary – and I know they have the public’s full support in keeping us and themselves safe through the difficult past few months. That is why in January this Government delivered a £1.1 billion funding boost for our forces – the biggest increase in a decade – and we are on track to meet our promise and recruit 20,000 more officers by 2023. I am very keen to better highlight the diversity within our police forces to help attract even more women and ethnic minorities, which is why you will see officers from all walks of life feature in our recruitment campaign.

Why is Khan being allowed to cut the police in London? How long will he be allowed to destroy our once beautiful city? – Sean from Battersea

There is no justifiable reason for Sadiq Khan to be cutting support for London’s police force. As Home Secretary, I chose to deliver an additional £191.2 million for London this year to recruit an additional 1,036 officers by March 2021. This is the highest cash increase of any force in the country – and underscores how unnecessary Sadiq Khan’s police cuts have been. I would encourage him to focus less on governing through press releases and more on keeping Londoners safe.

What are your plans to reduce criminalisation of teenagers, especially those from disadvantaged environments? – Ron from Dorking

Preventing vulnerable children and young people from being drawn into crime and violence is the most effective way to tackle youth offending. That is why the Government has increased local government funding this year, including additional money for social services, and is investing £200 million in the Youth Endowment Fund to steer young people away from becoming involved in crime, by identifying early indicators such as truancy, substance misuse and family factors like parental criminality. We are also investing £500 million in new youth services and youth clubs nationally, so we break the cycle of crime that tragically so many young people fall into.

Whilst rightly wanting to control our borders, would the Government be especially aware of those fleeing from persecution and terror?  Many Christians as well as people of other faith groups are facing systematic attacks, whether from militants or sometimes from governments of the countries in which they live. – Peter from Bridgwater

The UK has always been a safe haven for those fleeing persecution around the world – and I remain committed to welcoming those fleeing from persecution and terror to this country. Our country is a world leader in global resettlement and our flagship Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme has resettled over 18,000 since 2014, and in 2018, we resettled more refugees than any other EU member state. We have also recently committed to creating a bespoke immigration route to enable British National Overseas citizens ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, and their immediate family members, to move to the UK to work and study, following the Chinese government’s decision to impose a new National Security Law on Hong Kong. The UK will never duck our responsibilities to vulnerable people around the world who genuinely need our support.
Region Labour's Pension Tax (£) Extra Months to Work
England 11,167 44
East Midlands 6,150 50
Greater London 12,871 45
North East 9,758 38
North West 6,835 47
South East 14,270 40
South West 7,407 45
West Midlands 10,729 41
Northern Ireland 13,718 35
Scotland 10,653 41
Wales 11,691 36
United Kingdom 11,253 43

Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:

“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”

Read more about how this Pension Tax will impact millions of savers (PDF)