Soccer

Prime Minister Boris Johnson issues response to Mings’ criticism of Home Secretary Priti Patel

The Aston Villa defender has called out the hypocrisy of the government’s ministers following their response to scenes surrounding the Euro 2020 final

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has defended Priti Patel following Tyrone Mings’ criticism of the Home Secretary’s comments regarding the racial abuse suffered by England’s Euro 2020 squad.

Mings was quick to call out Patel’s calls for tolerance on Monday after the latter’s failure to condemn supporters for booing Gareth Southgate’s side throughout the tournament when taking the knee in protest against racism.

However, Johnson has hit back at the Aston Villa centre-back’s comments aimed at one of his key cabinet allies.

Who is Priti Patel & what has she said?

Priti Patel is the current Home Secretary, having held the position since 2019 after succeeding Sajid Javid in the role.

A former Secretary of State for International Development under previous Prime Minister Theresa May, she came to prominence among football fans after describing England’s decision to take the knee as “gesture politics”, refusing to condemn those who booed the move in the process.

After England trio Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were subjected to racist abuse on social media following their missed penalties in the shootout defeat by Italy, Patel took to Twitter to express dismay with the racially-charged fallout from Wembley, writing: “I am disgusted that England players who have given so much for our country this summer have been subject to vile racist abuse on social media. 

“It has no place in our country and I back the police to hold those responsible accountable.”

What did Mings say?

Having initially issued a statement at the time of Patel’s original comments last month, Mings questioned the authenticity of Patel’s comments as contradictory to her previous actions.

“You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘gesture politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens,” he wrote on Twitter.