Priti Patel, who was promoted to Home Secretary after Boris Johnson was voted as leader of the Conservative Party in July, has issued a damning warning against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party. Ms Patel said she didn’t believe shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott had what it takes to make important decisions concerning Britain’s national security. She based the claim on previous comments made by Ms Abbott, where she called for “the abolition of conspiratorial groups like MI5”.
Writing in The Sun, Ms Patel said she signs a “huge pile of warrants” to authorities, including the police, National Crime Agency and MI5 to mount surveillance operations against people suspected of plotting attacks.
She said such a process helps “lead to arrests and the foiling of terror plots”, with 24 having been stopped in the past two years.
But she doesn’t believe Ms Abbott has what it takes to sign off on such operations.
She wrote: “I simply don’t believe that Diane Abbott, who will become Home Secretary if we don’t secure a Tory government on December 12, would sign off operations that make attacks like the one on London Bridge a rarity.
“After all, she called for ‘the abolition of conspiratorial groups like MI5’.”
Ms Abbott made the comments shortly after becoming an MP in 1987.
Ms Patel also lashed out at the Labour leader and said: “We know Jeremy Corbyn disapproves of police using “shoot to kill” tactics against terrorists.”
But when speaking on Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Corbyn backed armed police who used lethal force to shoot the London Bridge knifeman Usman Khan on Friday, saying they “had no choice”.
It came after it emerged Mr Khan was a prisoner released on licence, freed halfway through a 16-year jail sentence.
An urgent review of terrorists released from prison has been launched in the wake of Friday’s attack which saw the 28-year-old kill two people.
The convicted terrorist stabbed to death 25-year-old Cambridge graduate Jack Merritt and a woman in the knife rampage, leaving three other people injured.
Mr Khan was on licence and wearing an electronic monitoring tag when he attended a conference on prisoner rehabilitation hosted by Cambridge University scheme Learning Together at Fishmongers’ Hall near London Bridge.
When asked if he thought terrorists should serve their full term behind bars, Mr Corbyn said: “No, not necessarily, no.
“I think there has to be an examination of how our prison services work and crucially what happens to them on release from prison.
“There were apparently no probation service involvement in monitoring this former prisoner who after all had only served half his sentence and he came out I think a year ago.
“And there has to be an examination of what goes on in the prison because prisons ought to be a place where people are put away because of major serious offences but also a place where rehabilitation takes place.”
A Labour spokesperson said: “As Home Secretary, Diane Abbott will do whatever is necessary to keep people safe. You can’t protect the public on the cheap. The Tories have spent a decade cutting police and security service staff and budgets, Labour will give them the resources they need.”