Tuesday, 20 Apr 2021

ITV’s Robert Peston makes Priti Patel squirm as he confronts her with PM’s sexist remark

Priti Patel confronted with Boris Johnson quote by Peston

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Priti Patel appeared on ITV’s Peston and discussed the Prime Minister’s call for social and cultural change in the aftermath of the Sarah Everard case. Host Robert Peston asked Ms Patel what would she say to someone who would say the best way to manage a woman is to “pat her on the bottom and send her on her way”. Ms Patel called the comments “unacceptable” before it was awkwardly pointed out that the comments were made by Boris Johnson while he was editor of the Spectator. 

Appearing on ITV, Robert Peston asked the Home Secretary her thoughts if a male colleague said the best way to manage her was to “pat her on the bottom and send her on her way”. 

Ms Patel said: “Well, I would not accept that at all. 

“It’s fair to say that I would say to my colleague that if that ever happens that is just simply unacceptable.

“We’ve just spoken about treating each other with respect, that is simply not respectful, it’s appalling.”

But Peston then pointed out the comments were made by Boris Johnson when he left his job as editor of the Spectator about his female boss, Kimberley Quinn. 

Ms Patel responded: “Well, I mean, I wouldn’t hesitate and believe you me, I’m here in my capacity as a government minister, as Home Secretary. 

“I’ve worked in all sorts of other professional sectors and I’ve worked in the City and I’ve heard all sorts of things said about female colleagues which are simply unacceptable. 

“I’m not the type of person, I think it’s pretty well-known, to sort of sit back and accept really quite disparaging and derogatory remarks. 

“And I myself have been subject to things of that nature in the past and I just don’t think that’s acceptable. I would speak out against that.”

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During her appearance on the ITV show, Ms Patel was also asked whether she agreed with Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick resigning after the clashes between police and attendees at Sarah Everard’s vigil. 

Police arrested several people at the vigil and were condemned as being heavyhanded. 

Protests against the police have continued since Sunday as demonstrations against the police and Priti Patel’s new security bill. 

The Home Secretary told Peston: “I work with the commissioner on all sorts of policing issues, and actually to run and jump to the conclusion that someone should have to resign off the back of what we saw on Saturday, without seeing the full report, is completely wrong. 

“So I think again it’s wrong to end up in this sort of prejudging phase before we actually know the full facts.”

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The Home Secretary herself has drawn ire from many in the UK for her apparent crackdown on protests in the country. 

Her new and controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill passed second reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday. 

The Labour Party have criticised the bill for curtailing legitimate protests by giving more powers to police to determine what is “disruptive” or “intimidating”. 

The opposition first said they would abstain from the vote but U-turned and actively voted against it in the Commons. 

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