Arsenal supporters and football fans, in general, have been shocked to discover that home secretary Priti Patel is a follower of the north London club.

The Tory cabinet member shared her support for a noteworthy cause promoted by the Premier League side who will be wearing white shirts for their FA Cup third-round tie on Sunday, against Nottingham Forest, in a stand against teenage violence.

Patel, who was born in North London, quote retweeted the Gunners adding: “Hugely powerful campaign, which I applaud as Home Secretary, but also as an Arsenal fan.

“Community initiatives like these, alongside work of govt and police, will help to reduce knife crime. Great to see that some of the charities the Home Office backs will receive the shirts.”

Although no one would disagree with the sentiment of Patel’s message, the revelation that she is an Arsenal, despite previously tweeting her thanks to the club’s legendary manager Arsene Wenger in 2018, came as a shock to many.

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Arsenal fans, who are amongst the most vocal and active fanbases on Twitter, replied to Patel’s tweet in a less than enthusiastic manner, given the MP’s divisive reputation.

Others pointed out that Arsenal really does have a unique selection of celebrity fans that ranges from Jeremy Corbyn to Piers Morgan. There are also reports that the Queen follows the club, while there was a long-standing but mostly dismissed rumour that Osama bin Laden was a fan given that he attended some of the team’s matches during a visit to London in 1994.

Patel’s reputation amongst football supporters has proven to be turbulent since he comments on England players taking the knee in a stance against racism at Euro 2020. This led to her being criticised by England and Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings who told her “You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens.”

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