Speaking on Thursday, Home Secretary Priti Patel told BBC Breakfast that seeing the public and police “working together” was an integral part of combatting “egregious breaches” of Covid-19 laws.
Patel praised the police for their role in enforcing the rules and preventing lawlessness which would see the virus spread more easily.
“The police will continue to enforce against people, individuals, egregious breaches that effectively risk spreading the virus…Nothing has changed on that and it’s absolutely right that the police continue to do that,” she noted.
Patel, who is well supported by Conservative hardliners, has been widely criticized for her remarks on social media, with many people calling her out for double standards on rule breaking.
Political commentator Peter Stefanovic tweeted: “Home Secretary Priti Patel, who supported Boris Johnson’s unlawful suspension of Parliament, supported Dominic Cummings flouting of lockdown rules & supported breaking international law tells #BBCBreakfast she would inform police if she saw neighbors breaking Christmas rules.”
Another Twitter user suggested it wasn’t surprising that Patel would dob in her neighbors.
“Priti Patel supported an immigration bill that would have had her own parents deported so it’s really no surprise that she would inform police if she saw neighbors breaking Christmas rules. #PritiAwful”
Patel’s remarks come as the UK strengthens its guidance for the Christmas period despite loosening restrictions to allow up to three households to mix for a five-day festive period.
The decision to scrap the Covid-19 tier system has been branded “a terrible idea” by healthcare experts.
The Home Secretary also told Brits not to travel across the country to see their loved ones – warning it was putting them at risk.
The Home Secretary demanded to know why people would risk travelling between high-risk and low-risk areas.
She said: “We’re urging people not to travel. Why would you travel? If you’re in a low tier area, why would you travel into a high tier area? So people will exercise their judgment.”
When asked if she was asking people to cancel their plans, she said: “Yes, I would urge people to change (plans).”
Ms Patel said she herself wouldn’t be travelling to see her family.
“I won’t be seeing my parents this Christmas; my parents live in a different part of the country and I will not travel to see them.
“I want to protect them; I don’t want to be spreading the virus. I feel I will take that responsibility and others will make that judgment too.”
Her own “Christmas bubble” would be “very, very tight”, Ms Patel said.