Search icon


14th May 2021

Union boss suspended after calling for Priti Patel to be deported

Howard Beckett, a member of Labour's ruling body and a candidate for Unite's next general secretary, called for the home secretary's deportation on Twitter last night

Nadine Batchelor-Hunt

Howard Beckett, a member of Labour’s ruling body and a candidate for Unite’s next general secretary, called for the home secretary’s deportation on Twitter last night

Writing on Twitter, Beckett said: “Priti Patel should be deported, not refugees.

“She can go along with anyone else who supports institutionalised racism.

“She is disgusting.”

He subsequently deleted the tweet.

His words came in the aftermath of protestors successfully halting immigration enforcement taking away people they had detained in a dawn immigration raid on Eid al-Fitr in Glasgow yesterday.

Protestors managed to get the men released by police, and the move was welcomed by Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon – who criticised home secretary Priti Patel’s policies that led to the scenes

Beckett subsequently tweeted an apology.

“Our society should have no place for racism at all.

“I am very sorry for my earlier tweet,” he said.

“I was angry to see Muslim refugees being deported on the morning of Eid al Fitr.”

However, his words prompted backlash across the political spectrum, triggering his suspension.

Conservative MP for Wycombe Steve Baker said: “An extraordinary, absolutely intolerable remark which must have a robust response from @UKLabour.”

A spokesman for Labour said the party “takes these allegations extremely seriously” and said appropriate action will be taken.

However, there are reports that suggest it is yet another chapter in Labour’s civil war between the right and left of the party.

The BBC’s Lewis Goodall last night reported a Labour source as saying: “Keir is prising McCluskey’s cold, dead hand from the Labour Party.”