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Priti Patel: Home Office ‘was uncomfortable’ for me as a BAME person

Priti Patel

Priti Patel: Home Office ‘was uncomfortable’ for me as a BAME person

Priti Patel, the UK’s first female home secretary from a black or minority ethnic background, has said she felt “uncomfortable” when she joined the government department in the wake of the Windrush scandal.

Patel became head of the Home Office in July 2019 after the resignation of Amber Rudd after disclosures by the Guardian about the mistreatment and deportation of legal residents, many of whom came to the UK from the Caribbean decades earlier.

In an appearance before the House of Lords home affairs and justice committee, Patel said she was made home secretary as the department was preparing evidence for Wendy Williams’s Windrush Lessons Learned review of the scandal.

“If I think about Windrush, obviously I walked into a department just as the Lessons Learned report was due to come out. I have my own views quite frankly. I’m an ethnic minority home secretary coming into a department where it didn’t feel that comfortable,” she said.

Patel said she has had “a lot of pushback” while trying to change the culture of the Home Office, which could take years. “This is a very, very long haul,” she said.

She has drawn criticism after claiming at the same hearing that some migrants are attracted to the UK by the prospect of being housed in hotels.

“We have ended up having to put people into hotel accommodation and I’m afraid, I think it’s pretty suboptimal,” said Patel.

“It is counterproductive; I think it has also acted as a pull factor for people to come to the country illegally, thinking that they’re going to end up in hotels.”

Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said Patel’s comments bore “little relation to reality”.

“Rather than people being attracted by the idea of living in a hotel, the problems people are experiencing in their lengthy stays in temporary accommodation have been well documented,” he said.

Under questioning from the Labour peer Shami Chakrabarti, Patel also insisted that there is a “legal basis” for turning around small boats at sea.

“None of this is illegal. So let me just emphasise that, none of this is illegal at all,” she said. “We don’t want to see people dying at sea. We want to stop people drowning at sea. I can’t emphasise this enough.”

Senior QCs have argued that Patel’s controversial new borders bill breaches international and domestic law in at least 10 different ways.

Referring to a man who is believed to have gone missing in the sea off the coast of Harwich in Essex, Patel said: “Only yesterday there was a loss of life in the Channel.”

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Osun Transport Masterplan to Be Ready Soon-Governor Adeleke

Governor Ademola Adeleke has announced his administration’s plan to release to the public the Osun State Transport Master Plan to facilitate integrated connectivity for the Osun economy.

The Governor made the announcement on Thursday while commissioning the Osun State Computerised Vehicle Inspection Testing Center at Osogbo.

The Governor who narrated a series of ongoing reforms being delivered by his government said “The test center right here is the first of its kind among other interventions of our administration to reposition the State’s Transportation sector

According to the State Governor, “Our government is pursuing reforms across the transport sector. We ensure that Commercial Motorcycle operators across the State are registered under a database with a rider’s jacket and identification card for safety purposes. Mini-buses, popularly known as (Korope) have also been registered and numbered for easy identification and security.

“We have introduced single ticketing to all commercial drivers in the State through the Osun State Transport Management System (OSTMS) to guide against leakage of revenue.

“It is equally my pleasure to inform the public that our administration is working on a Transportation Master plan for Osun state. We are focused on a multimodal plan that will integrate all modes of transportation within the state. It will lay our objectives and strategic agenda for land, air, and water transportation.

“The plan is to regulate, plan, and develop an efficient and well-integrated transport system that will serve the public interest, enhance mobility, and deliver a secure and environmentally friendly Public Transportation System in different areas across Osun.

“The plan is central to our five-point agenda as it focuses on connectivity within and outside the state. Osun is centrally located in the heart of Yorubaland.

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Adeleke speaks on collapse of OAU amphitheatre

Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun has promised to pay the medical bills of students injured in the Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU), Ile-Ife, Amphitheatre roof collapse.

The affected students are receiving treatment at the University Health Centre and the Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife.

Adeleke, who was represented by the Commissioner for Education, Dipo Eluwole, sympathised with the management of the University and parents of the affected students on the unfortunate incident.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr Abiodun Olarewaju, in Ile-Ife on Saturday.

The commissioner was conducted round the scene of the incident by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Simeon Bamire, and other principal officers of the University, and visited the two health facilities where the students are receiving treatment.

He expressed happiness that the affected students are responding to the treatment.

Eluwole lauded the university management for its quick response to the emergency and prompt medical attention given to the students.

Speaking to the four students being treated at the University Health and Medical Centre, the commissioner commended their bravery and wished them quick recovery.

At the Neurological ward of the University Teaching Hospital where two other students are being treated, Eluwole pleaded with their parents to see what happened as a natural occurrence.

He, thereafter, informed the vice chancellor that the Gov. Adeleke pledged to bankroll all medical expenses that may be incurred in the course of the treatment of the students.

Responding, the vice-chancellor thanked the governor for being so kind and loving, stressing that his fatherly role to the students and the good people of Osun is commendable.

A torrential rain on Thursday morning, accompanied with a whirlwind affected a part of the ceiling of the Amphitheatre as it fell off and injured some students.

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Woman burns stepchildren’s hands for eating rice prepared for their father

The Adamawa State Police Command has arrested one Rachel Geoffrey, a 23-year-old woman and resident of Federal Housing Estate, Girei, for allegedly setting fire to the hands of her stepchildren.

The children, Genesis Geoffrey, seven years old: and Idadai Geoffrey, three years old, now have their affected hands bandaged.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Suleiman Nguroje, said in a statement that Rachel intentionally inflicted severe physical injuries on her stepchildren.

In the statement released Saturday, the police image maker said the incident occurred on Tuesday, May 14.

He said the children suffered several calculated acts of cruelty and human rights violations from their stepmother.

He explained that the children faced the wrath of the woman over a plate of rice she cooked and kept for her husband.

“The kids, because of hunger, ate their father’s food and that angered her. She then tied their hands with a handkerchief and set fire to them, resulting in the severe injuries they sustained,” Nguroje explained.

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