Priti Patel said the government isn't responsible for poverty and people are furious

Louis Staples
Thursday 21 November 2019 11:45
news

Home Secretary Priti Patel has been criticised for claiming the government is not to blame for poverty.

When asked by the BBC if the government was responsible for "appalling" poverty, Patel said:

Well, it’s not the government though, is it? Everybody just says it’s the government as if it’s this bland blob you can just go and blame. It’s all parts of society and the structures. Local authorities have a role to play, education, public services, which are locally led and locally run.

Poverty has been a big topic in the election campaign so far, following the news that 4 million children are living in poverty in the UK. Labour politicians condemned Patel’s remarks by recalling the impact of government austerity measures, which were announced in 2010.

Last year, an study found the North had been the hardest hit by Tory-led government spending cuts.

Think Tank IPPR North found in 2018 that total public spending in the North had fallen by £6.3bn since 2009/10, more than for any other region.

Other people shared the clip widely, criticising Patel’s words and her “smirking” facial expression.

Bizarrely, as the backlash grew, BBC North West’s Twitter account deleted the video.

But then, some time later, BBC North West tweeted the clip again.

indy100 contacted the BBC to ask why the clip was temporarily deleted from social media.

A BBC spokesperson said:

The original Tweet paraphrased the comments in the video as a direct quote. Although that accurately reflected the comments made, for clarity we have removed the quotation marks and reposted the video.

More: Author who called Priti Patel immigrant even though she was born in London responds to criticism

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