Fact Check British Minister Priti Patel did not spend £ 77,000 on taxpayers’ money on her eyebrows; the breakdown of expenses was taken out of context

Claims on social media that Home Secretary Priti Patel, among others, is spending 77,000 pounds ($ 107,000) in taxpayers’ money on her eyebrows are not true, the Home Office told Reuters.

The allegations stem from a Twitter thread by a human rights campaigner (here) and an article in the Byline Times (here) that examined Home Office spending reports in 2020 and noted some “headache” lists.

According to the article, these reports included £ 5,400 spent in the cheap clothing chain Primark, £ 900 in a bar in Oxford and £ 77,000 at a company called SP Beautiful Brows, among others by Global Beauty Products.

Screenshots of the list soon spread across social media, with numerous users making assumptions about the cost purposes and claiming that it was made personally by the Home Secretary (here, here, here) and (here).

“Priti Patel used your hard-earned tax to spend £ 5,415.90 on Primark and £ 77,269.40 on eyebrows,” reads one report. ‘If that’s not enough to convince you that the system is equipped for the 1%, you’re really lost. PS: These are the same MPs [sic] which says that ending poverty is too expensive.

Another adds: “Priti Patel has spent £ 77,000 of our money on …. wait for it …. HER EYEBROWS and the rest.”

In a statement to the Byline Times, the Home Office said spending was “in line with agreed policy, justified and thoroughly scrutinized”, but did not elaborate. A second statement, which was included as an update to the article, states that some expenses for personal protective equipment (PPE) were incurred during the pandemic.

“It is completely wrong to claim that this is the Home Affairs minister’s expenditure,” a Home Office spokesman told Reuters in an email. “These are foreign costs.”

The Home Office provided an outline of the list, including the following items.


Social media reported that £ 864 was spent on a hair salon called “Hair There and Everywhere”, while £ 77 269.40 was sent to “SP Beautiful Brows”.

However, the money was not spent on hair and eyebrow treatments, the Home Office told Reuters.

Instead, it was used to buy hand sanitizer and PBT “at the height of the pandemic” when it was not possible to buy it elsewhere.

PPE products can be seen on both sites’ websites (here, here).


Both the £ 5,415.90 spent at Primark, and £ 849.50 at Sports Direct, were used to buy basic clothes for asylum seekers “who would not have had the necessary clothes” when they arrived in the UK. the government added.


The article notes that £ 2,000 has been sent to Claudia Lamb Independent, who is linked to a dietician (twitter.com/cwpclaudialamb).

The Interior Ministry said: “This is not a dietician, but a business used to arrange international travel.”


According to the Home Office, the £ 669 donated to a company called Rachel’s Kitchen Limited, which according to the article is the owner of the Rachel’s Cupcakes brand, was used to host a staff event.


According to the posts, £ 900 was spent on a bar in Oxford called The Magdalen Arms, and another £ 3,952.76 for Pollyanna Restaurant. A further £ 1,040.69 was sent to Folkestone Garden Center.

“The ‘Pollyanna restaurant’ is a place abroad used for the delivery of training to international delegates,” the Home Office told Reuters. The location has not been expanded.

The spokesman also said the bar in Oxford is being used as a training room for staff, while the Folkestone Garden Center has been rented for a day of mental health and wellness, to support one-on-one discussions with mental health and staff. .


The posts allege that £ 2,022.64 was spent on Neptun Qtu Tirane, an electronics store in Albania, and that £ 919.81 was sent to “Entertainment EB”.

According to the Interior Ministry, these payments were used to purchase the necessary technology to carry out business activities. Again, the department did not elaborate on what this entails.


Missing context. There is no evidence to suggest that the expense reports were personal to Patel. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the expenditure was in the whole department, and it gave an explanation to show, for example, that large sums were spent on beauty businesses for PPE at the height of the pandemic.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.