Home secretary Priti Patel has faced a torrent of criticism after failing to boldly denounce Donald Trump over inciting riots in the US capital overnight.
Patel avoided Trump’s name in her condemnation of the riots despite the president having instructed protesters to march on the capital.
Sky News’ Niall Paterson caught the minister out, telling her in a live interview: “I will note, home secretary, as others will, the two words that didn’t pass your lips there were Donald and Trump.
“What will it take for a senior politician of the British government like yourself to condemn the actions of this man?”
Patel responded: “Well, I think absolutely the violence should stop and he should absolutely condemn everything that has taken place.
“Someone was shot, people have died. This is terrible beyond words, frankly, and there is no justification for it.”
Unsatisfied by the response, Paterson asked Patel when she would follow in the footsteps of senior US politicians in denouncing Trump’s actions.
“I think what people want to hear from a very simple basis, is a politician like yourself in a bold statement condemning the involvement of Donald Trump and what happened yesterday,” he said.
Patel replied: “Well, first of all, he made a statement yesterday and did very little to de-escalate the situation.
“There’s no justification. Words of provocation are completely wrong and quite frankly every instance of the violence and the activities that took place should have been condemned. That is absolutely right.”
Patel urged protesters to allow for a transition to the Biden administration to occur peacefully.
Twitter users were quick to admonish the secretary of state.
One user tweeted: “Compare this to the statement that Biden gave within an hour or so of this attack. She, like the rest of the cabinet are so far out of their depth it’s farcical.”
@TheJuanOnly2 followed up: “I am guessing that if it was China or Iran, they will also use their wording very carefully, no?”
Shashank Joshi posted: “I don’t usually think this sort of thing matters, but at this stage the diplomatically *expedient* thing to do for any allied government is to condemn Trump.”
I don't usually think this sort of thing matters, but at this stage the diplomatically *expedient* thing to do for any allied government is to condemn Trump. https://t.co/Eelse3M6LL
— Shashank Joshi (@shashj) January 7, 2021
Laura said: “I’ve never seen someone use so many words to say nothing at all.”
Ive never seen someone use so many words to say nothing at all.
— Laura (@ruillebuille) January 7, 2021