Priti Patel has suggested “market forces” could make a government U-turn on corporation tax cuts unavoidable.
Speaking to Sky News’ political editor Beth Rigby, the former home secretary said the need for financial stability “will probably dictate some of these changes now”.
Her comment came as Downing Street today insisted the prime minister and the chancellor “remain committed” to the growth plan set out in last month’s mini-budget, which prompted economic turmoil.
Asked if a U-turn on cutting corporation tax would be sensitive, Ms Patel told the Beth Rigby Interviews… programme: “The market is going to dictate this primarily because we want to see stability, stability is absolutely crucial for everyone to carry on with their lives.
“I genuinely think from what we’re seeing that the markets will dictate it.”
Ms Patel, now on the backbenches after new prime minister Liz Truss did not give her a job, also reflected on her nearly three years as home secretary as she spoke about the murder of Sarah Everard, facing death threats and racism.
She said she was “dismayed” by the Metropolitan Police’s reaction to women attending a vigil for Ms Everard, who was kidnapped and murdered by a serving police officer during one of the COVID lockdowns.
Asked if the vigil, where women were manhandled and arrested, was the beginning of the end for the then-Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, Ms Patel said: “It was a range of things, it wasn’t just the one incident, appalling though it was.
“It was a range of things that we went on to see, the conduct, the culture of misogyny.”
She said she did not fire Dame Cressida straight away after that as she felt it was the whole Met Police leadership team that was failing women – and she brought them in to find out what was happening.
The MP for Witham, 50, added: “Let’s be honest, since then we’ve learned so much about the Metropolitan Police about conduct, attitudes.”
Justice system has to raise its game
Focusing on violence against women and girls, Ms Patel said she was proud to have successfully overseen the Domestic Abuse Bill through parliament so it is now law.
She said under Boris Johnson’s government, they did “much more to shine a light” on how domestic abuse can affect anybody at any time, and said they gave victims the confidence to come forward.
However she said: “But to give them confidence to come forward also means that the institutions, the organisations, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the criminal justice system has to raise its game and that is also where we’ve been working. “
Death threats and racism
Ms Patel also spoke about receiving “consistent levels of harassment and abuse” over the 12 years she has been an MP.
She said that she has ranged from intimidation and unkind things to people following her home and death threats.
“I’ve had a lot of death threats, cases have gone to court,” she added.
“It provides pause for thought, there’s no doubt about that but I came into politics because I believe in public service – I’m very old fashioned in that sense that I do believe in public service.”
Ms Patel said there has also been abuse within parliament, with MPs saying she has “no right to speak out on certain issues because of the color of my skin” – which she said was “unacceptable”.
In 2020, a Guardian cartoon depicted her as a fat cow with a nose ring.
“People know that I’m a Hindu and of Indian origin, that was completely unacceptable but yet a national newspaper felt they could do that and it was in the public interest,” she added.