John McDonnell – Priti Patel likely ‘on the way out’
The Shadow Chancellor joined Sophy Ridge, and the conversation quickly turned to Home Secretary Priti Patel. Yesterday the Home Office’s top civil servant Sir Philip Rutnam, accusing Patel of bullying, resigned and announced his intention to sue the government for unfair dismissal. McDonnell suggested an investigation into Patel’s conduct, but made clear what he thought the result would be:
JM: [It’s] interesting this morning what I hear from No. 10 – that the Prime Minister only has confidence in his cabinet, not specifically Priti Patel. It looks as though she’s on the way out.
We need more direction from PM
McDonnell also called for greater leadership from the Prime Minister over the response to halting the spread of coronavirus, especially in chairing emergency meetings in the Cabinet Office Briefing Room (COBRA):
JM: There needs to be, I think, more direction from the Prime Minister in particular. I was worried about the delay, for example, in setting up the COBRA meetings. There needs to be political leadership of this, more direct.
Matt Hancock – PM has been ‘all over this’
Ridge went on to interview the Health Secretary and put McDonnell’s argument about leadership directly to him.