Steerpike

Watch: Priti Patel schools Zarah Sultana

Watch: Priti Patel schools Zarah Sultana
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Tories up and down the country should be celebrating tonight after it was revealed that walking CCHQ advert Zarah Sultana has kept her seat intact in the report by the Boundary Commission. The hard left MP has served as a Conservative recruiting agent since 2019 when the 27-year-old squeaked home in Coventry South by just 401 votes – down from some 7,947 her Labour predecessor Jim Cunningham managed just two years earlier.

And this afternoon Sultana gave us some indication as to why she hemorrhaged votes to such an extent at the last election. Popping up today at Home Office oral questions, Sultana asked Priti Patel about detention conditions for asylum seekers at Napier barracks. The Campaign Group mainstay told Patel she would give her 'the facts,' claiming:

In January I asked the Home Secretary about Napier barracks, highlighting the unsafe, inhumane conditions. She told me 'to listen to the facts.' Well, here are the facts. On Thursday the High Court ruled that the conditions were unlawful. They were described as 'squalid' in court and evidence suggests that Public Health England guidance was not, and is still not, being followed. So I ask the Home Secretary: how many people are currently sleeping in each dormitory, why is Public Health England guidance still not being followed, and why did she claim that the standards were very high when they were unlawful? 
To which an enraged Patel responded thus:

That is absolutely incorrect in terms of the misrepresentation from the hon. Lady. I have already made it abundantly clear that I have been vigorous in following and making clear the need to protect public health and stop the spread of the virus. Not only that: I make no apology for doing everything in my power to fulfil our legal duties to provide shelter to people who otherwise would have been destitute; to provide accommodation to people who otherwise have been sleeping in dirty, makeshift tents in France and in other European countries, on the streets; and to provide them with beds, food, clean sanitation, access to healthcare and access to welfare provision. That is not putting forward squalid conditions.

You can watch the full exchange below:

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk

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