PRITI PATEL has said the UK’s asylum system is ‘fundamentally broken’ and pledged to introduce a new one that is ‘firm and fair’.
Speaking at the Conservative Party conference, the home secretary attacked ‘do-gooders and lefty lawyers’ profiting from the system at the expense of the most vulnerable.
‘A fair asylum system should provide safe haven to those fleeing persecution, oppression or tyranny,’ she said in her keynote speech.
‘But ours doesn’t. Because our asylum system is fundamentally broken. And we have a responsibility to act.’
But reform would ‘take time’, she warned. ‘After decades of inaction by successive governments, we will address the moral, legal, practical problems with this broken system,’ she said.
‘And I will bring forward legislation to deliver on that commitment amounting to the biggest overhaul of our asylum system in decades.’
She also used her speech at the online event to take aim at the tactics of Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion protesters.
‘This government will always defend the right to protest,’ she insisted.
‘But it is not acceptable for mobs to tear down statues and cause criminal damage across our streets.
‘And it is not acceptable for thugs to assault our police officers, just for doing their job.’
She said the government had already agreed to double the maximum sentence for assaults on emergency workers, and confirmed she was working with chief constables to ensure officers have the ‘tools, support and powers they need’ to police such incidents.
Ms Patel also paid tribute to ‘hero’ PC Andrew Harper, who died when he tried to stop quad bike thieves, and Sgt Matt Ratana, who was shot as he prepared to search a suspect.
‘Fresh opportunity’ for jobless in coaching scheme
THOUSANDS who have lost their jobs in the pandemic are being promised help through a £238million work coaching scheme launching today. The Job Entry Targeted Support programme (JETS) will offer advice from experts, including in how to improve CVs and perform well in interviews. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: ‘We will provide fresh opportunities to those that have sadly lost their jobs, to ensure that nobody is left without hope.’