Boris Johnson brags UK is now ‘Saudi Arabia of penal policy’



Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has been filmed telling supporters that the UK has become the “Saudi Arabia of penal policy” under Home Secretary Priti Patel.

He made the remarks, which have been widely condemned, at a private fundraising dinner for the Cities of London & Westminster Conservative Association (CLWCA).

In footage published by Business Insider, Mr Johnson tells guests: “I said last year we’re the Saudi Arabia of wind. Probably the Saudi Arabia of penal policy, under our wonderful home secretary.”

He also joked at the opening of his speech: “In the immortal words of Priti Patel or Michael Howard or some other hardline home secretary, addressing the inmates of one of our larger prisons: It’s fantastic to see so many of you here.”

Downing Street has not yet commented on the footage, but in January adamantly denied reports that the prime minister made a similar comment about Saudi Arabia in a call with 250 business leaders.