On a day of sorrow, Parliament's pantomime villain still manages to cause a stir

On a day of sorrow, Parliament's pantomime villain still manages to cause a stir

Priti Patel addressed the Commons in miserable circumstances, following the biggest single loss of life in the Channel since the migrant crisis began. “There are no simple solutions,” she warned. MPs agreed it was a heartbreaking tragedy. Some blamed human traffickers, European inaction and government xenophobia. The Home Secretary condemned French mulishness for the impasse. But on what to do next, the House rapidly descended into a battle of head against heart, pragmatists versus idealists. Lining up on the sympathetic side were the SNP and the independent MP for Islington North, late of the Labour whip, Jeremy Corbyn. “Pushing them back is not a solution,” he proclaimed. “It is brutality.” Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, walked a tricky tightrope. In Keir Starmer’s new-look Labour Party, he could not look …
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