Priti Patel demands urgent action from Sunak to cut taxes for 'hard-pressed Brits'

​Priti Patel

Priti Patel urged the Prime Minister to deliver tax cuts

Christopher Hope

By Christopher Hope

Published: 29/09/2023

- 06:01

The former Home Secretary cited Margaret Thatcher as inspiration for what the Government should do

Taxes must come down and the size of the state should be cut, former Cabinet minister Dame Priti Patel said in a rallying cry to the Tory faithful on the eve of the party's conference.

The former Home Secretary told GB News she wanted to see tax cuts before the next election, in what will be seen as a challenge to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

She said: "The tax burden is now to 70 year high. That is unsustainable. And the people that pay the taxes are hard pressed Brits around the country.

"As Conservatives, we believe in lower taxes. As conservatives, we believe being on the side of hard-working households and families. As Conservatives, we believe in hope and aspiration.

WATCH: Priti Patel speaks exclusively to GB News


"The burden of tax has to start to come down. However, look at the cycle that we're in right now. We've got one more fiscal cycle potentially before general election.

"It's about being Conservative and ensuring that the public keep more of the money that they earn rather than seeing the size of the state continue to grow.

"That's the space that we need to be in. Reduce the size of the state and ensure that people keep more of their income. This is just a fundamental Conservative principle that we must stand by."

Patel disagreed with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt who has repeatedly said that taxes cannot come down while the Government was battling with high inflation.

The Witham MP said: "You have to separate the two. I do recall a rather successful Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was able to tackle inflation while growing the economy."

Turning her attention to her former brief, Patel gave her view on the Government's migration strategy.

She said she was "absolutely certain" of the legality of a Government to send illegally arrived migrants to Rwanda for processing, which the Supreme Court will rule on in November.

She added: "I am very pro-Rwanda. I set up and negotiated the economic and development partnership. It's going through the courts. I'm absolutely certain that it's legal."

I worked on the legalities of it. Rwanda will be a tremendous deterrent and that's what we need. We don't need platitudes, We need a deterrent. And Rwanda is a powerful deterrent."

Patel also criticised her colleagues for "hounding" two Prime Ministers who had been democratically elected by party members - Boris Johnson and Liz Truss - out of office.

"We've seen two democratically elected leaders of the Conservative Party being, you know, kicked out of office, hounded out of office. I don't support that. I don't think that's right.

"I think at the end of the day our party members should decide and ultimately the public should decide.

But the reality is now we have to be forward facing, we're looking ahead to a general election over the next 12 months. I want my party to be successful. I want my party to [speak] with conviction, speak about conservative policies and principles.

"But I also want my party, particularly in Westminster, to respect our grassroots.

"They are foot soldiers at the end of the day, and it's right that we work with them to hopefully deliver a Conservative victory and a Conservative majority government."

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