Priti Patel has insisted she has “a lot of compassion” and “cares deeply about people” whilst defending the Home Office for the controversies it is involved in.
She said the Home Office is “an incredible organisation” whilst insisting she does not “relate” to the idea that it is a hostile institution.
“For people that know me, they know that I care deeply about people and I have a lot of compassion,” Patel told The House.
Windrush and asylum seekers
She added: “I would mention Windrush, the work that I have led in terms of Windrush compensation, overhauling the scheme, setting up stakeholder groups, putting people first, treating people and thinking of people rather than just cases.
“For too long this has been a case-working organisation, and I always put names and faces first.”
And she claimed the £54m given to France to help the UK reduce migrant boats is not “money for nothing”
Patel also defended the UK Nationality and Borders Bill, which aims to put a legal defense around removing “illegal” asylum seekers.
And she said she rules “nothing out in terms of stopping the boats and saving lives”.
New rules for EU citizens
It comes as this week Patel boasted about “ending the use of insecure ID cards for entry into the UK” for EU citizens, who will now be obliged to get a passport if they want to travel to Britain.
More than 200 million EU citizens will no longer be able to visit the UK with national identity cards under the new post-Brexit rules.
Until the end of 2025, only EU citizens who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or those who have or applied for a family permit will still be able to use their national IDs.
Brits who with Gibraltar identification cards can continue to use them when travelling to Britain – but Irish citizens, although not required to use passports, may be asked by some airlines to show them, according to The Independent.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “We’re ending the use of insecure ID cards for entry into the UK to strengthen our border and deliver on the people’s priority to take back control of our immigration system.
“Firm on those who seek to abuse the system. Fair on those who play by the rules.”
But all new ID cards issued by EU countries follow high security standards, in line with the UN International Civil Aviation Organisation. The IDs are machine readable and contain a microchip with identity details, which means they are very hard to forge in any way.
The post-Brexit move is a blow to Europeans who often do not have passports, and do not need them to travel to other EU countries. When the UK was part of the EU, it was one of a number of countries in the bloc who did not have ID cards.