• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Video from Tory donor lunch shows Boris Johnson joking that hardliner Priti Patel is making the UK as tough on crime as Saudi Arabia

·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
priti patel boris johnson
Home Secretary Priti Patel and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Getty
  • Johnson joked about the UK becoming the "Saudi Arabia of penal policy, under our wonderful Home Secretary."

  • Johnson made the joke at a Tory fundraising lunch last week. Insider has obtained video of it.

  • Downing Street previously denied he made a similar remark on a call with business leaders.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson joked about the UK becoming "the Saudi Arabia of penal policy, under our wonderful Home Secretary" Priti Patel at a Conservative Party fundraising lunch earlier this month, according to video obtained by Insider.

Johnson made the joke in a speech he was delivering to the Cities Of London & Westminster Conservative Association on September 10, at a lunch for more than 300 guests. Insider spoke to an attendee who provided an insight into the lunch.

The remark can be seen in the video below. It is an excerpt from a wider video of Johnson's speech.

Saudi Arabia is one of the world's most punitive regimes, and is one of the few countries in the world to still carry out capital punishment via beheading. It has been accused of torturing activists, and it gives the death penalty for homosexuality and many drug offences.

Patel has previously indicated her support for the death penalty as a "deterrent," though she has since suggested she is not an "active supporter" of the policy, the Independent reported.

Downing Street did not respond to Insider's multiple requests for comment on Johnson's remark.

Johnson's comment at the event was first reported in The Times Diary.

In January, Politico's Emilio Casalicchio reported that Johnson had told 250 business leaders on a call that the UK will be "the Saudi Arabia of wind power - and of penal policy too!"

But Downing Street firmly pushed back against the claim at the time, telling the reporter it was "total bollocks."

Read the original article on Business Insider