Iain Duncan Smith claims Priti Patel is from the 'Indian subcontinent'. She was born in London

Greg Evans
Thursday 25 July 2019 14:15
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Priti Patel, the Tory MP and hard-line Brexiteer, now has a position in Boris Johnson's new cabinet where she is the new home secretary.

The 47-year-old was forced to resign from the government two years ago after holding secretive meetings with Israeli ministers, lobbyists and businesspeople, was a vocal supporter of the Leave campaign and also launched the pro-Brexit 'Women for Britain' group.

Her appointment has raised a few eyebrows among critics of the new prime minister but one of his colleagues, Iain Duncan Smith, has attempted to defend Patel's appointment.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the former leader of the Conservatives attempted to explain why he believed Johnson had chosen Patel - but managed to make a huge error when he said where she was from.

She's there because of three things I think. One, she does believe in the project. We have to leave by the 31st of October. If you've got 100 days you can't have people who are saying that they are unsure about this.

Two, I think it is very important that Boris has someone in there that represents the true changing nature of Britain. She's a woman, she's also from the Indian subcontinent. This is really important.

Three, he's got a wider agenda than just Brexit. She's there to ensure that police support is much bigger and we've also got a huge change to how we deal with migration.

Duncan Smith was probably correct in two of his three points but Patel is not from the 'Indian subcontinent,' as he put it. She was actually born in London in 1972.

Her parents are originally from India but they moved to Uganda in the 1960s, before Ugandan president Idi Amin announced the expulsion of Asians from the African nation in 1972.

Duncan Smith's slip up didn't go unnoticed by those listening to the show, who were quick to correct the 65-year-old's mistake.

Iain Duncan Smith has been contacted for comment.

HT BBC Radio 4

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