Thursday 22 July 2021 / 7:11 PM Home Affairs / Nick Thomas-Symonds / Policing

Priti Patel’s position “untenable” following Police Federation vote of no confidence – Nick Thomas-Symonds

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, has today written to the Home Secretary saying that her position is “untenable” following a vote of no confidence from the Police Federation, and demanded action on police pay while setting out key areas in which Priti Patel has failed the police. 

The letter follows the Police Federation of England and Wales today, 22 July, declaring ‘no confidence’ in the Home Secretary due to her failure to allow the Police Remuneration Review Body to consider awarding a pay increase to Police Officers. 

In his letter, the Shadow Home Secretary states “it is little wonder that policing representatives have lost faith in you as Home Secretary and the process you have overseen with the Police Remuneration Review Body….I know [police representatives] are deeply hurt by the final offer.” 

He goes on to say that the Home Secretary’s position is “untenable” following a range of key failings of frontline officers and that urgent action is required which must include “opening negotiations on a fair police pay rise.” 

This is not the first time that the police have been let down by this Home Secretary. During the early stages of the vaccine rollout, the Home Secretary publicly stated that police officers should be prioritised for receiving the vaccine. When it was revealed that age and vulnerability, and not profession, would be prioritised for vaccine roll-out, the Police Federation stated that they felt a “deep sense of betrayal”. 

In recent weeks, the Home Secretary has been accused of misleading the House of Commons when she said that she had consulted the Police Federation in the work of developing the Clauses relating to Public Order in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. Yet the Police Federation have confirmed that they had never provided either a written submission or been consulted upon the issues of protest. 

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill also legislates for the creation of a Police Covenant. Labour has long argued that it is inappropriate for a Government Minister to Chair the Police Covenant. Mr Thomas-Symonds MP, in his letter, outlines that “the constitution of the Police Covenant must change and an independent Chair be appointed.” 

 

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said:

“It is the height of hypocrisy for the Home Secretary to praise the police in public with warm words, but let them down so badly when it comes to meaningful action. So it is no surprise that the Police Federation have taken the extraordinary step of confirming that they have lost confidence in Priti Patel.

“The truth is it is not just on pay where police officers have been let down. 

“We also saw the Home Secretary promise action on getting priority access to vaccines for police and failed to deliver, in addition to taking the name of police representatives in vain, by suggesting they had been calling for additional powers to police protests, which was not the case. Little wonder the Conservatives are trying to mark their own homework, by having one of their own Ministers chair the new Police Covenant, this is clearly wrong.

“The Home Secretary’s position is clearly untenable, and the police deserve nothing less than urgent action from the Prime Minister and this government. This must include opening negotiations on a fair police pay rise and work to reconstitute the Police Covenant.”