Viral clip of Ian Hislop shutting down Priti Patel resurfaces amid football racism row
Priti Patel has had a very eventful tenure as Home Secretary so far.
In the latest controversy, the minister has found herself embroiled in a row surrounding the racist abuse of England players on social media following the team's loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
Patel publicly condemned the abuse in the aftermath of the match, but she was later called out – most notably by England defender Tyrone Mings – for previously failing to criticise those who booed the players for taking the knee before kick-off at each match at the Euros.
Now a 2011 clip of her talking about capital punishment has resurfaced online.
In the clip, from BBC's Question Time, guest and Private Eye editor Ian Hislop took apart Patel’s argument in favour of the death penalty, saying the inaccuracy of sentencing in the UK would mean innocent people would be killed by the state.
He began telling a studio audience: “For 50 years Private Eye has pretty much, in most issues, exposed a miscarriage of justice and a lot of them have been murders... Over the years, large numbers of these cases have been found to be entirely wrong. And the men convicted – and a couple of women – have been found innocent.”
Hislop added: “We would have killed those people, and in some of those very high profile cases which involve terrorism cases, we would have made very dangerous new martyrs by executing people who turned out not to have committed the murders involved. So on a purely practical basis, I think it would be incredibly dangerous to have capital punishment back.”
In response, Patel argued capital punishment can act as a “deterrent” to serious crime. She said: “This is really about our criminal justice system actually, and if any conviction, for example, you need ultimate burden of proof.”
But the point Hislop was trying to make is that in some cases, there are mistakes. Hislop interjected: “Are you saying they were guilty? All these people?”
“No I’m not saying they were guilty, obviously,” Patel hastened to add.
“So they would be dead?” Hislop suggested if there was capital punishment.
“The point is,” Patel steamrolled ahead, “it’s about having deterrents. If you have strong deterrents – “
At this point, Hislop once more interrupted with a great point. "It’s not a deterrent killing the wrong people."
Hislop’s scathing takedown of the politician has gone viral all over again, amid the latest row.
According to Amnesty International, a global human rights organisation, “scientists agree, by an overwhelming majority, that the death penalty has no deterrent effect”.
It's also worth noting that Patel has since clarified that she has never been an "active supporter" of the death penalty and says that previous clips of her have been taking "out of context".
Back to the football, and Patel has been defended by her fellow Tory MPs. Speaking to Sky News on Wednesday Grant Shapps said: “I thought the comments about Priti Patel were unusual, were odd because she has spoken very movingly in the House of Commons about her own experiences and suffering from racism.”
On Tuesday, Steve Barclay insisted that Patel was “committed to tackling racism”. However, his colleague Johnny Mercer claimed that Mings’ comments about the home secretary were “completely right.”