This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
PRITI PATEL was accused of failing to learn lessons from a recent mass outbreak of Covid at Napier Barracks today after it emerged 59 asylum-seekers are still sleeping in communal dorms.
The Home Secretary faced a furious grilling by a committee of MPs over whether she knew about Public Health England (PHE) advice against using dorms at the barracks in Kent.
After repeatedly dodging the question, Ms Patel said she had “obviously” not been shown PHE emails but stressed that “guidance has been shifting” since a court ruling in June found that the Home Office had ignored the advice. PHE said in September: “I don’t know how dormitories can be Covid compliant.”
Despite this, Ms Patel told MPs in February, when 200 infections were recorded at Napier, that public health guidance had been followed throughout.
Home Office minister Matthew Rycroft revealed that 103 men are still in the barracks, 59 of whom are sleeping in dorms of up to 14 people.
Committee chairwoman Yvette Cooper said: “You guys just don’t learn lessons do you? It’s just astonishing. It’s irresponsible to the people who are being put in Covid unsafe situations and it’s irresponsible for the taxpayer as well.”
Ms Patel was also accused of sitting on the full report into conditions at Napier Barracks by the Prisons Inspectorate since May. Skirting questions on when the report was sent to the Home Office, Ms Patel said it would be published before Parliament breaks for the summer on Thursday.
SNP MSP Stewart McDonald said: “This is classic Home Office — an absolutely scathing report that you’ve had since May, and you’re going to put it out on the last day of term.”
An interim report by the prison watchdog found “fundamental failures” in the way the barracks were managed.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.