Talking to your local newspaper is clearly the way members of the Coalition Government have of dissenting from the Number Ten approved line.
First, we had Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, putting the boot in to Theresa May, the Home Secretary, and her Human Rights Act deportation cat story.
But now Lynne Featherstone, a (very) junior Minister in the Home Office, has followed suit in an article for her local paper, saying:
“In the Blue Corner, Theresa May (my Home Office boss) launched an attack on the Human Rights Act on the morning of the Conservative conference in the Sunday Telegraph saying that saying she “personally” would like to see it go because of the problems it caused for the Home Office. …
As for the Human Rights Act – there are times when people cynically, lazily or ignorantly quote it in a way that completely perverts its intention (and doesn’t stand up if put to the test in court). In that respect it is very similar to the Data Protection Act – often also called in aid as the supposed justification for bizarre decisions in a way that fuels shock media stories but really says far more about the ignorance of those quoting it than about what it actually says.”
So we now know what she thinks of her Home Office boss and what she said about the Human Rights Act and the cat and the deportation story.
And she goes on to assert that changes to the Human Rights Act are:
“just not going to happen”.
My contacts in the Home Office tell me that the Home Secretary “gives a pretty good bollocking”. Lynne Featherstone has already been the recipient of at least one when Theresa May told her to tone down what she said in her blog.
I would love to be a fly on the wall at Monday’s Ministerial meeting in the Home Office when the Home Secretary has a few words with her LibDem Parliamentary Under Secretary who called her cynical, lazy and ignorant.