Priti Patel DID want Britain to shut its borders last March in bombshell leaked tape confession

THOUSANDS of lives could have been saved if Britain shut its borders earlier the Homes Secretary confessed in a bombshell leaked tape. 

Priti Patel lifted the lid in an explosive row with Boris Johnson after admitting she tried to lockdown the borders back in March. 

The Home Secretary on GMB this morning


The Home Secretary on GMB this morningCredit: refer to caption.
A leaked tape of Priti Patel reveals she wanted to shut borders last March


A leaked tape of Priti Patel reveals she wanted to shut borders last MarchCredit: Getty Images – Getty

In a secretly recorded address leaked to Guido Fawkes to party faithful on Tuesday night, Patel hit out “should we have closed our borders earlier, the answer is yes, I was an advocate of closing them last March.” 

Though risking the wrath of No10, other Cabinet colleagues leapt to Ms Patel’s defence. 

One senior Cabinet Minister told the Sun: “She was right.”

Back in March, the deadly bug was sweeping through France, Spain and Italy but there were zero restrictions on travel or at the border.

It’s now estimated 10,000 infected people arrived in the UK during the early spring.

At Prime Minister Questions this afternoon Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer pressed Boris Johnson over the comments and asked why he over-ruled her.

The PM said: “I think it was last March that Sir Keir along with many others was actually saying that we didn’t need to close borders but, as usual, Captain Hindsight has changed his tune to suit events.”

Speaking about border now he added: “That is why we instituted one of the toughest border regimes in the world, that’s why we insist you have to get a test 72 hours before you fly, there must be a passenger locator form that you have to provide and you must quarantine for 10 days or five days if you do a second test.”

The PM’s Spokesman said he had full confidence in the Home Secretary despite her breaking cabinet rules.

Asked why the PM “ignored” her he said: “I am not going to get into the detail of private conversations.”

On the border measures he added: “Throughout the pandemic. We’ve continued to keep all our decisions and all our restrictions under continuous review, and we haven’t hesitated to take action based on the latest scientific evidence.”

Tory Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Tom Tugendhat backed Ms Patel saying that “with hindsight, we should have closed the borders last March.”

He added: “I think the government’s been making some very difficult decisions to try and keep an economy open that can pay for the healthcare we all need, at the same time as protecting as many people as possible and protecting lives.” 

However Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary said it was a “shocking admission.”

Borders were left open last March


Borders were left open last MarchCredit: Louis Wood – The Sun

He said:  “Priti Patel’s admission, coupled with the complete lack of strategy for testing of travellers, means that the Government has left our doors open to the virus and worrying mutations.

“Ministers now need to – urgently – review and overhaul border policy, whilst taking responsibility for the huge damage their incompetence has done to our national safety and security.”

And top Government scientist Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s chief scientific adviser, later admitted the Government “got some things wrong” during the early phases of the pandemic.

He said border measures should have been imposed sooner, and added: “The lesson is: go earlier than you think you want to, go a bit harder than you think you want to, and go a bit broader than you think you want to, in terms of applying the restrictions.”

He added: “You’ve got to go hard, early and broader if you’re going to get on top of this. Waiting and watching simply doesn’t work.”

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