Priti Patel at centre of meme frenzy after confusion about... eyebrows

Priti Patel at centre of meme frenzy after confusion about... eyebrows
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Priti Patel, the home secretary, found herself at the centre of a wave of memes after a report into Home Office spending raised eyebrows – in more ways than one.

In an article published this week,The Byline Times said that the government department spent more than £77,000 on a purchase from SP Beautiful Brows in March last year. A month later, it said the Home Office spent £30,000 on Global Beauty Products Limited – a company which runs a store called ‘Beautiful Brows and Lashes’ and sells personal protective equipment (PPE).

Popular high street brands also appeared on the spending logs, including SportsDirect in June (£849.50) and Primark in September (£5,415.90), according to the publication. The log did not say which Home Office employee spent the money, or what specifically was bought.

The spending was Home Office-wide but, after the story was published, Twitter users took to social media to publish some creative memes on the spending list, including poking fun at Patel on the assumption that she spent the money to, er, get her eyebrows done...

On Friday, political website Guido Fawkes reported that the spending that had garnered so much attention was actually for items such as professional level PPE. The Primark spending, meanwhile, was on new clothes for asylum seekers.

The Home Office put out a statement minutes later, which said:

The Byline Times report followed a Twitter thread from Mary Atkinson, a campaigner on the rights of immigrants, in February, who said she was “baffled” at some Home Office expenses.

In a statement issued earlier to The Byline Times, a Home Office spokesperson said: “Departmental spending must be conducted in accordance with agreed policies, justified, and properly scrutinised.”

This story has been updated to include the Guido Fawkes report and Home Office comment

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