The SNP Shadow Home Secretary Joanna Cherry MP has called on the Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured) to explain her absence in the public domain as internal leaks show the Home Office in crisis.
The intervention comes just days after the PCS Union slammed the Home Office for forcing staff to travel to work to process routine passports while a travel ban is in place, as Home Office deputy scientific adviser told staff:
“You are no more at risk at the workplace as you would be in your home.”
The Home Secretary is reported to be working from the Home Office but has repeatedly refused to appear at a Commons Select Committee to discuss coronavirus four times since January.
Her department published a major document on Thursday on immigration policy and she appeared on a radio station to discuss it – but continues to dodge MPs questions, raising serious questions about UK government accountability during the pandemic.
SNP Shadow Home Secretary Joanna Cherry QC MP said:
“It’s about time that Priti Patel explained why she feels she is above scrutiny at a time of national crisis.
“While Home Office staff are forced to travel into work for work that is clearly non-essential, the Home Secretary’s most notable contribution to the pandemic has been her public absence.
“Employers across the UK have an obligation to their staff and must think very carefully about what jobs can be done remotely.
“UK government departments should be leading by example and the Home Secretary is no exception to this rule.
“It’s imperative UK government are publicly accountable for their actions, especially when they are publishing such important documents on immigration rules.
“Dodging MPs questions during this time is simply not good enough.”