Questions raised about Priti Patel’s absence from key coronavirus briefings

PUBLISHED: 17:01 09 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:01 09 April 2020

Home secretary Priti Patel. Photograph; Parliament TV.

Home secretary Priti Patel. Photograph; Parliament TV.

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Questions are being raised as the home secretary is yet to make an appearance at the government’s coronavirus press conferences.

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Priti Patel has come under questioning after her continued absence at the daily coronavirus briefing since they began on March 16.

Despite being a senior cabinet minister, Patel has not chaired one of the briefings so far.

But the home secretary’s allies have insisted that this is simply down to other departments having more pressing announcements as the pandemic unfolds.

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Oliver Dowden, culture secretary, said the Home Secretary is still 100% engaged and has been seen in the Home Office every day.

Dowden told Sky News: “I really can assure you the home secretary is across all of this and is engaged on an hour-by-hour and day-by-day basis. I see this every day myself.

“She’s 100% engaged. She’s in the Home Office pretty much every day, as far as I know, that’s where I’ve seen her every day.

“I really don’t think there’s an issue with respect to the home secretary.”

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