Priti Patel was in front of the cameras this afternoon to react to last night’s mass shooting in Plymouth. Asked whether the incident would prompt greater government action on online extremism, Patel said:
“The whole issue of online activity and incitement and extremism is an enormous issue and it’s actually something that the government is working on already through legislation that is forthcoming this autumn…we need to find out the facts, let’s establish the facts behind this. And of course, we will work to do everything to, you know, make sure that if there are issues in the online space post this incident, that we will look to follow that up.”
Pressed on the criticisms of her taking permanent control of the security minister brief (following James Brokenshire’s resignation last month), Patel immediately pushed back:
“I would say that is absolutely not the case. I am the Home Secretary, and I oversee security issues, and I have been doing that throughout…I’ve been kept fully updated, and on all issues, all incidences, including those types of issues and incidences that don’t even reach the public awareness and consciousness, [I’m] fully aware of everything that goes wrong.”
If that’s the case, what was the point of the separate brief in the first place?