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Home Secretary unblocks federation Twitter account after four years


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Priti Patel 'refused to engage with us for having temerity to point out the folly of drastic cuts to policing'.

Blocked: No way to Priti Patel

Blocked: No way to Priti Patel

Date - 30th July 2019
By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle
1 Comment1 Comment}

 

New Home Secretary Priti Patel has ended a four-year stand-off with rank and file officers after they tried to speak out over police funding cuts.

The Essex Police Federation were first blocked by Ms Patel in July 2015, after warning the then-Employment Minster her government's policies on policing had led to a reduction in officers in her town.

Richard Montgomery, federation secretary at the time, had tried to engage the Witham MP in debate after she took to the social networking site to call on the police to act “asap” over two violent assaults in her constituency.

Her response was to block Mr Montgomery and the federation account – refusing to discuss her actions with Police Oracle.

When she was appointed Home Secretary in Boris Johnson’s new government line-up, the federation sought to end the feud and appealed for a return to the status quo.

 

Under her new role, Ms Patel has been charged by Prime Minister Boris Johnson with heading up a new board that will oversee the recruitment of 20,000 police officers.

Writing on Twitter, Ms Patel said: "I look forward to working together especially on our new and exciting drive to increase police numbers and support police officers in their incredible work."

Essex federation chairman Steve Taylor said: “We welcome the appointment of the new home secretary and hope she has more engagement with the national police federation than she chose to have with us in her local Essex branch.

“It is a matter of record that she blocked our Twitter account some years ago – and refused to engage with us – for having the temerity to point out the folly and consequences of drastic cuts to policing.

"For too long we felt we did not have her support and we did not want that to continue with her in her new office of home secretary.

"She was the only MP out of 18 to block us during the #Cutshaveconsequences campaign."

He added that the federation looked forward to a more constructive relationship with the government.

The move had the support of national federation chairman, John Apter, who tweeted last week: "She needs to review her decision to block her local Fed. Wrong and needs to be corrected."

Ms Patel is seen as a very hardline choice for the Home Office.

A one-time supporter of the death penalty, Ms Patel advocated tougher sentences for knife-crime perpetrators and in 2013 called for a new victims’ law in order to redress the balance in their favour and against criminals.

She was forced to resign from the Cabinet as international development secretary after holding off-the-record meetings with senior Israeli politicians.

In September 2011, on BBC Question Time, she argued for the return of capital punishment – though in 2016 she said she no longer held this view. She backed the creation of police and crime commissioners

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Well, I’m not gonna hold my breath.

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