Priti Patel condemned for police vaccine delays ‘You’re talking and officers are dying’

Priti Patel clashes with host on vaccinating police officers

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Priti Patel appeared on LBC to announce a £60million boost for UK police forces to tackle quarantine rule-breakers. But during her radio phone-in, Nick Ferrari wanted to know when police officers would be getting their vaccines as Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick revealed she had been requesting police priority during a previous interview. The Home Secretary said she was in talks with the Joint Committee of Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) about this but a furious Mr Ferrari wanted to know who was actually running the country’s vaccination scheme.

Mr Ferrari said: “Scotland Yard revealed five officers have died with Covid, a custody sergeant, three constables and a traffic community police officer. 

“So I have to say you’re talking and the JCVI are talking and officers are dying, what are you going to do about it?

“When can officers get vaccinated?”

Ms Patel added: “The JCVI will make that announcement…”

But the radio host interrupted and said: “Why don’t you tell the JCVI, you are the Home Secretary, why don’t you say to the JCVI ‘I don’t want any more coppers dying?’”

 

Ms Patel replied: “I have been clear about this quite frankly Nick, and I’ve also asked police forces to put in their own plans (before) receiving the vaccine. 

“Because there is this other aspect as well, when we get the green light, that all forces will need to roll out the vaccine themselves, working in terms of shifts, cohorts…”

Mr Ferrari then asked for a time frame for the issue to be resolved and was vaguely told it would be a “matter of time”.

The breakfast show host said: “Well respectively, obviously its a matter of time but this month we will see police officers put up the cohort?”

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The MP for Witham said again she was waiting for the JCVI in which a frustrated Nick Ferrari bellowed: “Why are you allowing yourself to be influenced by the JCVI, you’re the Home Secretary.”

He then wondered if Ms Patel was suggesting they were the ones running the country. 

Ms Patel explained the JCVI was in charge of the priority lists and were currently looking into sectors with occupational hazards. 

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In a previous interview with Commissioner Dick, she was asked if she knew when police would be getting a vaccine due to their work on the front line.

The Police Commissioner did not know when they would receive vaccines despite pushing for a rollout. 

Ms Patel was quizzed during the LBC interview about the Carl Beech false sexual abuse case which was handled poorly by the Met Police.

While the Home Secretary did not say on air if she had confidence in the Commissioner despite being asked several times, her office later sent a statement confirming her support. 

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