Priti Patel speech ambushed by activists branding her refugee policies 'racist'

Priti Patel speech ambushed by activists branding her refugee policies 'racist'
Protesters interrupt Priti Patel speech to protest Rwanda plan

Priti Patel had a speech at a Conservative event interrupted by protesters who branded her policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda "inhumane" and "racist."

Protesters from Green New Deal Rising - a climate activist and social justice group - staged the intervention which took place at a dinner event held by the Bassetlaw Conservatives.

As Patel started her speech a woman stood up and said: "Priti Patel, your racist policies are killing people." The interruption was largely booed by the people in attendance. She added that the plans were "inhumane and were going to ruin people's lives," before being led off by security.

Then another woman stood up and shouted: "As young people wanting to live in a fair and compassionate society, we are disgusted by your treatment of refugees."

Two more women and a man then stood up, one after the other, and echoed similar statements before they were all led out of the building by security as they chanted: "Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here."

By this point, the attendees at the event had begun to loudly boo and were yelling 'out, out, out.'

Green New Deal Rising shared a video of the incident on Twitter on Saturday adding: "Last night we disrupted @pritipatel because her #Rwandaplan is cruel, morally bankrupt & it will cost lives. We demand the Government drops this widely condemned policy & provides support for people seeking safety. No matter where we come from, we all deserve dignity & respect."

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

The protest has been widely praised by critics of Patel on social media, with some calling it the "best video you’ll see today":

Activist Holly Hudson is quoted as saying: "I want to grow up in a society that cares and respects people wherever they come from. I am disgusted by Priti Patel’s Rwanda plan and her immigration policies. They are violent, illegal and inhumane and have been condemned across society.

“This bill is a direct act of harm to those seeking safety. Whoever we are, we all deserve safety and compassion and that’s why we took action today.”

A spokesperson from the Home Office told The Independent: "The world-leading Migration Partnership will overhaul our broken asylum system, which is currently costing the UK taxpayer £1.5bn a year – the highest amount in two decades.

“It means those arriving dangerously, illegally or unnecessarily can be relocated to have their asylum claims considered and, if recognised as refugees, build their lives there.

“Our new Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda fully complies with international and national law.”

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)