Village People: Priti Patel is hung out to dry for supporting the death penalty

 

Essex MP Priti Patel, whom it is customary to describe as a "rising star" of the Tory party, made her first appearance on BBC's Question Time this week, and set off a Twitter storm.

Just hours after the execution of Troy Davis, in Georgia, she issued a call to bring back hanging.

If we take her words literally, she would see others, as well as murderers, swinging from a rope. She mentioned rapists three times, and paedophiles once.

When Private Eye editor Ian Hislop pointed out that there have been cases of people being wrongly convicted of murder, adding "it's not a deterrent killing the wrong people", Ms Patel conceded that when trying capital crimes, courts would have to make a special effort to convict the real culprits.

The Labour MP Paul Flynn called it "one of the impenetrable mysteries of politics" that the Tories ever allow Ms Patel on to the mass media, because her hard-line views on crime and punishment, Europe and other matters mean she is no Cameroon, but more an ideological descendant of the rant-ing right-wing Tories who attacked Edward Heath in 1972 – the year of her birth – for giving sanctuary to Asians fleeing persecution in Uganda. Her parents were Ugandan Asians.

There is a simple way for the Cameroons to rid the party of Ms Patel, because her seat, Witham, is marked for abolition under the proposed boundary changes.

But how dreary the Commons would be if all the hard-core Tory hangers and floggers were removed, and what an interesting addition Priti Patel is to their ranks. Time was when most of them were purple-faced retired army officers.

If anyone wants to launch Bleeding Heart Liberals' Priti Preservation Society, I'll sign up.

Sir George offends the culture club in the Outer Hebrides

The Government, in the person of Sir George Young, right, Leader of the Commons, has said sorry to the good folks of the Outer Hebrides for an e-petition which should never have been allowed to go up on the Downing Street website. It suggested: "All rioters and looters from the recent troubles in English cities should be banished to the Outer Hebrides for five years... Being forced to live with none of the comforts of English city living e.g. running water, electricity, decent food, culture and shopping, will put them on the straight and narrow.

Many local people there look after sheep part-time, so they can earn a small amount of extra money looking after rioters and looters as well."

The party's over for News International

A yawning gap has opened in the social diaries of the politicians, hacks and other politicos who do the rounds of party conferences. One of the most coveted possessions in previous years was the piece of white card that meant admission to the News International Party, where you would see our political leaders supping champagne in the company of flame-haired Rebekah Brookes or bespeckled James Murdoch. It was such a prestigious event someone had to be on the door to bar those who were not important enough to be invited. That task would often fall to the somewhat self-aggrandising executive director James McManus.

But not this year. In the wake of the phone-hacking scandal, the News International party was in danger of becoming the one that everyone avoided. Rather than face talking to one another in an empty room, or having to roam the corridors trying to inflict invitations on innocent bystanders, the NI top brass have called it off.

"It was just going to be embarrassing," said a company insider. "It was clear that anyone who was anyone was going to stay away so we decided to cut our losses and abandon them. Hopefully we'll be back in 2012."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Arts and Entertainment
Ella Henderson's first studio album has gone straight to the top of the charts
music
News
<p>Jonathan Ross</p>
<p>Jonathan Ross (or Wossy, as he’s affectionately known) has been on television and radio for an extraordinarily long time, working on a seat in the pantheon of British presenters. Hosting Friday Night with Jonathan Ross for nine years, Ross has been in everything from the video game Fable to Phineas and Ferb. So it’s probably not so surprising that Ross studied at Southampton College of Art (since rebranded Southampton Solent), a university known nowadays for its media production courses.</p>
<p>However, after leaving Solent, Ross studied History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, now part of the UCL, a move that was somewhat out of keeping with the rest of his career. Ross was made a fellow of the school in 2006 in recognition of his services to broadcasting.</p>
TV

Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new

Life and Style
fashion
News
Paul Nuttall, left, is seen as one of Ukip's key weapons in selling the party to the North of England
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Brand labelled 'left-wing commie scum' by Fox News
TV
Arts and Entertainment
BBC's Antiques Roadshow uncovers a TIE fighter pilot helmet from the 1977 Star Wars film, valuing it at £50,000
TV

TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow

News
people

Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'

Sport
Steven Caulker of QPR scores an own goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool
football
Arts and Entertainment
artKaren Wright tours the fair and wishes she had £11m to spare
News
i100
Life and Style
Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh been invited to take part in Women Fashion Power, a new exhibition that celebrates the way women's fashion has changed in relation to their growing power and equality over the past 150 years
fashionKirsty and Camila swap secrets about how to dress for success
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
booksNew book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Operational Risk Manager - Asset Management

£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...

Year 5/6 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Permanent Year 6 TeacherThe job:This...

KS1 & KS2 Teachers

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: KS1+KS2 Teachers required ASAP for l...

Year 2 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Year 2 Teacher The position is to wo...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past