Priti Patel has claimed Labour “stands up for the murderers, rapists, sex offenders” after she was taunted by the opposition over a report which said she had bullied staff.
Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds praised police officers for visiting schools to promote anti-bullying messages, before pointing out: “We have a home secretary in office who has been found to have broken the ministerial code by bullying.
“What signal does the home secretary think that sends to victims of bullying all around the country as to whether they should come forward?”
Patel replied: “I’ve already made an apology to those who I inadvertently upset, and I’ve also made it clear that I’m now getting on and delivering on the people’s priorities.”
Wounded by the remarks, she later hit out at Labour over its reaction to the government’s attempts to deport 36 convicted criminals to Jamaica.
MPs previously heard all those to be on the flight were Jamaican citizens, with offences committed by some in the group including sexual assault against children, murder, rape, drug dealing and violent crime.
In response to Conservative MP Richard Holden asking about Labour’s reaction to the deportations, she said: “Once upon a time the party opposite claimed it was tough on crime and the causes of crime.”
She added: “The British public are absolutely shocked and appalled that the party opposite now stands up for the murderers, the rapists, the sex offenders, and absolutely not doing the right thing when it comes to ensuring foreign national offenders are removed from our country.”