Justice Secretary Liz Truss has baffled MPs by suggesting barking dogs could be deployed to prevent drones flying drugs into prisons.
The Cabinet minister was setting out how Pentonville prison was dealing with the growing number of incidents where prisoners are receiving drugs, mobile phones and other banned products via remote piloted aircraft.
The Government recently announced “no-fly zones” over prisons to combat the problem - 33 incidents were recorded in 2015, compared with just two the year before and none in 2013. She told Parliament:
“I was at HMP Pentonville last week. They’ve now got patrol dogs who are barking, which helps deter drones.
“So we’re using all kinds of solutions to deal with contraband coming into our prisons.”
Labour jumped on her comment, with one Labour MP heard shouting: “It’s the minister who is barking.”
But Truss may be the victim of her own history following a series of accurate comments she made while the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which in turn prompted ridicule and ‘went viral’.
“That. Is. A. Disgrace.”
In 2014, the Norfolk MP gave a speech to the Tory party conference where she railed against the amount of food the UK imports, which ended with the sternly-delivered legend above (see 1.05 below).
“I want hedgehogs too to have a very happy Christmas.”
Last Christmas, Truss agreed to a ‘hedgehog summit’ amid fears for the health and safety of the animals, and wished the diminutive creatures seasons greetings.
From the same ‘That. Is. A. Disgrace’ speech at conference, many also seized on her more upbeat tone when previewing a forthcoming trip to China.