A row of cabinets leaked after Priti Patel said Boris Johnson should have closed UK borders ten months ago to protect the country from the spread of the coronavirus

She told Tory activists that in March last year, shortly after the UK pandemic, she pressed for strict restrictions on newcomers

Mr Johnson dodged questions in the House of Commons over his clash with the Home Secretary, arguing that the government has now “put in place one of the toughest border regimes in the world.”

Ms. Patel violated collective cabinet responsibilities and contradicted public comments defending the decision not to close the borders in a zoom call with the Conservative Friends of India group posted on the Guido Fawkes website

She said “should we close our borders sooner” the answer is “yes” I was an advocate of the closure last March ”

It turns out that Ms. Patel was trying to convince cabinet colleagues to advocate closing borders immediately when the ferocity of the pandemic became apparent

But she lost the argument when Downing Street insisted the move would have little impact on the number of cases that could get the British stuck overseas and deal a serious blow to the aviation industry

Mr. Johnson was assisted at the time by Dominic Raab, Secretary of State, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, and Grant Shapps, Secretary of Transportation

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The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said he still had full confidence in his Home Secretary, but did not deny that the couple had clashed over border controls

“I will not go into the details of private conversations but I would like to fall back on the measures we have taken to ensure the virus cannot be re-imported into the UK given the hard work of the public has pledged to suppressing the virus and trying to control it, ”he said

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said, “This is a shocking admission by the Home Secretary about the government’s failure to secure UK borders against Covid”

“The approval of Priti Patel coupled with the complete lack of a strategy to test travelers means the government has left our doors open to the virus and worrying mutations”

Tory Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Tugendhat said, “In hindsight, we should have closed the borders last March”

But he told the BBC, “The government has made some very difficult decisions to try to keep an economy open that can be paid for the health care we all need, and at the same time as many people as can possible to protect and protect life””

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labor leader, read the words of the Home Secretary and pressed Mr Johnson twice about why he had outvoted his Minister

The Prime Minister replied, “I think it was last March when [you], along with many others, actually said we didn’t need to close borders, but as usual, Captain Hindsight changed his mind to reflect what was happening””

Ms. Patel said yesterday: “The government has listened to a range of advice and followed the advice of professionals and counselors – medical and scientific – from day one of this pandemic, and decisions have been made collectively across the board.”

In mid-March, the UK gave up quarantining people for two weeks after arriving from areas with high infection rates such as Hubei Province in China and Italy

The decision contrasted with many other countries like New Zealand, which were widely praised for bringing the pandemic under control, in part through strict quarantine measures for newcomers

On 17 March decided to ban inbound travel from outside the bloc, while the United States put tight controls in place on arrivals from much of the world including the EU, the UK and China

The UK government introduced blanket quarantine restrictions for all international travelers except those from Ireland in June, while a month later, “travel corridors” were set up with countries where there is a safe level of infection

Ministers this week blocked all travel corridors and introduced new rules requiring arrivals to take a negative coronavirus test up to 72 hours before departure and self-isolating for up to 10 days after entering the UK need to prevent this new Covid-19 strains coming to the UK

Priti Patel

World News – UK – Cabinet departments exposed after Priti Patel said Britain should have closed its borders in March

Source: https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/priti-patel-coronavirus-uk-should-have-shut-borders-march-divisions-laid-bare-837874