Home Office clarifies "strange" expenses were on PPE, not Priti Patel's eyebrows
Quite the headline, that
Since the parliamentary expenses scandal a few years back, you can understand the lingering mistrust amongst the British public when it comes to how MPs spend some of their - or, more accurately, our - money.
With that in mind, the reaction to a report by The Byline Times this week, which claimed the Home Office had failed to explain some of the "strange" expenses filed by the department in 2020, is entirely predictable.
Some of the more perplexing payments were listed in the report and have since been shared far and wide on Twitter in tweets such as this:
— Lloyd Hardy (@lloydhardy) March 26, 2021
While the spending was Home Office-wide, many Twitter users used the opportunity to poke fun at Home Secretary, Priti Patel.
Two payments in particular raised... er, eyebrows: £30,000 to Global Beauty Products Limited, a company which runs a store name 'Beautiful Brows and Lashes' as well as selling PPE, and the £77,000 forked out on a purchase from SP Beautiful Brows, who the article points out appear to be linked to Global Beauty Products.
Although there was surely something resembling a logical explanation for this, Twitter was never going to let this pass, instantly suggesting Patel had blown over £100,000 on getting her eyebrows done...
Priti Patel getting her eyebrows done for £77k knowing she’s deporting the technician in the morning pic.twitter.com/ggKuQR2Lt1
— Dee Lions on a Shirt (@PrincessMissDee) March 26, 2021
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) March 26, 2021
exclusive look at Priti Patel before she spent £77,000 of public money on eyebrow treatment pic.twitter.com/hrVKVut2eT
— HappyToast ★ (@IamHappyToast) March 26, 2021
The Home Office did move to clarify that the payments were, in fact, on PPE (which stands for Personal Protective Equipment, not Priti Patel's Eyebrows). None of the money was spent on beauty products - not for Patel; not for anyone.
'It is wrong to claim the Home Office expenses that have been circulated today are the Home Secretary's,' a tweet sent on Friday night said.
'They are department wide ad for vital equipment like PPE.
'It is completely false to say the Home Office has spent money on beauty products, it was PPE.'
Adding another tweet, the Home Office said: 'We make no apology for buying PPE to keep our staff safe during a pandemic.'
📰 FACT CHECK:
It is wrong to claim the Home Office expenses that have been circulated today are the Home Secretary's.
They are department wide and for vital equipment like PPE.
It is completely false to say the Home Office has spent money on beauty products, it was PPE.
— Home Office (@ukhomeoffice) March 26, 2021
The Home Office also explained that the £5,415.90 payment to Primark was for asylum seekers 'who would have not had appropriate clothing when arriving in the UK'.
'We are committed to delivering the best value for money for the British taxpayer, making sure every pound is spent in the most effective way,' the tweet added.