DWP minister Priti Patel won't say whether she still wants to bring back executions

The employment minister gave an awkward performance on Sky News today

Jon Stone
Wednesday 13 May 2015 15:59 BST
Priti Patel has been appointed as a DWP minister
Priti Patel has been appointed as a DWP minister

A DWP minister who said in 2011 that she supported the reintroduction of executions has been evasive on whether she still supports the punishment.

Priti Patel, who David Cameron appointed as employment minister at the Department for Work and Pensions, appeared on Sky News this morning to discuss employment figures.

When asked whether she stood by her belief in the reintroduction of capital punishment, Ms Patel said she did not believe the question was relevant but refused to confirm or deny her views.

“I’ve been asked about this previously on a number of occasions as well. I made a comment a long time ago and said it would only be appropriate, back then, so not now, when we have the most horrendous and heinous crimes,” she said.

“This is not something that’s relevant to today’s political debate or discourse at all. I’m very much focused in my job as employment minister supporting what we do, continuing what we do, when it comes to growing our economy and getting more people back into work.”

Pressed on her views, she replied:

“I made the point back then when I was asked a question in terms with the content in which I felt it would be relevant. It is not relevant to today’s political debate and the subject that I’m here to discuss with you.”

Ms Patel will have responsibility for the Work Programme, employment, unemployment, and Jobcentre Plus.

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