Tough talk: Priti Patel with Thornhill couple Brian Leach and Susan Hemingway and parliamentary candidate Mark Eastwood
HOME SECRETARY Priti Patel vowed to take knives and firearms off the streets as she visited Dewsbury this week.
The Tory minister was in Thornhill on Wednesday with parliamentary candidate Mark Eastwood to hear about the work being done by a newly-formed neighbourhood watch scheme.
Ms Patel spoke at length with Brian Leach, the man behind the project, at his Mountain Road home before talking exclusively with The Press.
In recent months, North Kirklees has experienced a number of high-profile incidents involving firearms and violent crime.
Ms Patel said: “My party is the only party that’s serious about law and order, and banging up those criminals and perpetrators of crime that basically go out there and do harm across our communities and to people.
“We’re not tolerating that at all and I’m very vocal about this. We’re giving (police) powers on stop and search, and backing them in terms of the actions they need to take to get criminals off the streets, to get knives and violent weapons off the streets as well.
“That’s a massive contrast to every other political party; the rest of them are all soft on crime. We’re going to end that and that’s why we need to get Mark elected – we need to get a majority to do that.”
She gave her full support to Conservative hopeful Mr Eastwood, who faces a tough battle against Labour candidate Paula Sherriff, Dewsbury’s MP since 2015.
A national YouGov poll released yesterday suggests that the race between Eastwood and Sherriff in the Dewsbury and Mirfield seat is currently too close to call.
Ms Patel said: “It’s as simple as this: for real change to happen locally, he needs to become the next member of Parliament here in Dewsbury. That’s straightforward.
“It is time for a change. Labour have had a stranglehold here for far too long. They have taken people for granted here, they’ve taken the electorate for granted for too long.
“Importantly, regions and areas like this have been left behind because of Labour and there is a great opportunity now to really unleash the potential of this region by having a strong Conservative voice in Westminster who’s going to fight for investment, that will actually work with a Conservative government to really look at Britain’s potential beyond Brexit.
“Mark has a local record anyway, he’s local and that’s great for the community here – a local voice in Westminster is definitely what is needed.”