More responsibility for Home Secretary Priti Patel as she takes on security minister brief

More responsibility has been piled on Priti Patel with her taking on the brief of security minister, on top of her role as home secretary, according to reports.

The senior Tory will expand her workload to take on the duties of security minister after MP James Brokenshire stepped down last month due to his recovery from lung cancer “taking longer than anticipated”, reported the Times and the Telegraph.

Asked to confirm reports Ms Patel had taken on the role, the Home Office said: “The home secretary is responsible for all areas of Home Office business, including those related to national security.”

Many have questioned whether Ms Patel's added responsibility will add too much to her already vast workload.

The government website has a long list of responsibilities already covered by the home secretary, which include, counter terrorism, serious and organised crime, hostile state activity , extradition , royal and VIP protection , aviation and maritime security and Grenfell.

Labour shadow security minister Conor McGinn said it is "unwise" for Ms Patel to take on additional responsibilities, with her already "clearly struggling" in current role.

He said: “Getting rid of a specific, day-to-day, senior government minister responsible for security and counter-terrorism when Britain’s national security is under threat 24 hours a day, seven days a week is an abdication of responsibility. “From the chaos in the channel to the Police Federation declaring no confidence in her. The Home Secretary is clearly struggling to deliver on her current responsibilities, it is unwise that she takes on an additional role.”

Ms Patel said she overseas security issues within her role as home secretary "and I have been doing that throughout".

"I have been kept fully updated and on all issues, all incidences, including those types of issues and instances that don't even reach the public awareness and consciousness," she added.

"I am fully sighted and fully aware of everything that goes on."

Scores of social media users said they did not feel reassured about the security of the UK following reports that Ms Patel had absorbed the role.

One user tweeted: "No Home Secretary has enough time to cover the (delegated for obvious reasons) Security Minister's wide brief, as well as her own, so expect even more policy disasters."

Anger was sparked about the security minister role being vacant for more than a month when a British man was arrested on spying charges in Berlin.

The 57-year-old man - referred to as 'David S' due to German privacy laws - is suspected of selling documents to the Russian intelligence service in exchange for cash, according to German prosecutors.

Labour claimed the arrest raised "questions" about Prime Minister Boris Johnson's failure to fill the post, while Mr McGinn had said it "beggars belief" that the role had yet to be filled five weeks on.