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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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MFM Varsity Name Founder, Olukoya Professor

The General Overseer of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Dr Daniel Olukoya, has been appointed by Mountain Top University, MTU as a professor of Biotechnology.

In a statement on Wednesday, the university said that the  appointment of Olukoya, who is also the university’s Chancellor, was a result of the positive consideration shown by a relevant review by the council and the assessments of his publications by some of the world’s best scholars in biotechnology.

The statement read, “This is the result of the positive consideration given by relevant review committees and the Council of the University following the assessments of his publications by some of the world’s best scholars in Biotechnology, each of whom found him to be eminently appointable as Professor of Biotechnology.

“It needs to be underscored that this appointment is indeed well-deserved by Prof. D. K. Olukoya, who is an epitome of all-around excellence.

“He also engaged himself as a distinguished researcher and exceptional geneticist at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research between 1984 and 1998, during which he produced more than 70 scientific publications in the best local and international journals in the area of Microbiology and Biotechnology.

“He has also been cited more than a thousand times by scholars across the world.

“Not only has the new Professor of Biotechnology cut a niche for himself among eminent scholars in Microbiology and Biotechnology across the world, he has equally supervised many postgraduate students and continues to serve as a mentor and motivator to many Nigerian Microbiologists and Biotechnologists, many of whom have risen to professorial cadres in universities in and outside Nigeria.”

The statement added that Olukoya was severally offered the position in the 1990s by many universities, saying he chose to pursue his ministerial calling as directed by God.

 

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INEC Says 132, 626 Voters Cards Uncollected In Anambra

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that 132,626 Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) are yet to be collected in Anambra State.

The commission added that it has relocated six local government area collection centres in the state, as a result of the insecurity ravaging most parts of the country.

The state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Queen Elizabeth Agwu, stated this on Wednesday, during a meeting with stakeholders at the state headquarters of the commission.

Agwu who addressed all the political parties representatives, traditional rulers and civil society groups said the local government areas where the relocation of collation centres took place include Ihiala, Nnewi South, Onitsha North, Orumba North, Awka North and Awka South.

She said:“The collection of PVCs has been extended to Saturdays and Sundays in Anambra State.

“We need enough security to carry out this function. If people fail to collect their PVC, they will be shortchanging themselves, and doing a disservice to the people of their area.

“The 2023 general elections will be free, fair and credible, not only in Anambra State but the entire country. We have done the necessary work, and we hope to deliver.”

She gave a breakdown of the figures of uncollected PVCs in most local government areas as follows:

Ayamelum – 1,960; Dunukofia – 6,222; Idemili South – 4’589; Anaocha – 885; Orumba South -6,656; Onitsha South – 12,274; Idemili North – 16,256; Aguata – 12675; Njikoka – 7,009; Ogbaru – 10,755 and Anambra East – 7,717.

Others are Nnewi South – 1,841; Awka North – 1,153; Anambra West – 1,387; Orumba North – 2,393; Oyi – 7,982; Onitsha North – 9,990; Ihiala – 4,058; Nnewi North – 8,700; Ekwusigo – 3,350 and Awka South – 4,971.

 

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Osun LP Guber Candidate, Lasun Rejoins PDP

Yusuf Lasun, a former deputy speaker of the house of representatives, has rejoined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor of Osun, Ademola Adeleke made the announcement on Wednesday at the PDP presidential rally in Osogbo, the Osun capital.

“The former deputy speaker has joined the PDP family. He used to be in PDP, but today, he has decided to come and join the PDP family,” the governor said.

Lasun, who was present at the rally, hailed supporters after a terse remark.

Lasun had contested the 2022 governorship election in Osun on the platform of the Labour Party (LP).

Adeleke came first in the election; Gboyega Oyetola of the APC placed second; Kehinde Atanda of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) came third; while Lasun came a distant fourth.

He was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) until February when he resigned from the party after losing the party’s governorship ticket.

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