Priti Patel Admits Borders Should have Closed Last March

Priti Patel told Conservative Party supporters last night that she disagreed with the belated timing of the government’s border closing in response to Covid, claiming she had been privately advocating for their closure at the start of the pandemic last March. The candid confession – which expressly breaks collective Cabinet responsibility – was made during a Zoom call last night between the Home Secretary and the Conservative Friends of India group:

“On ‘should we have closed our borders earlier’ the answer is yes, I was an advocate of closing them last March”

Far from Priti copying Sir Keir’s ‘Captain Hindsight’ act, her public confession last night corroborates a Telegraph story from March 2020, which reported she had rowed with Boris over his decision to keep the borders open. The 10-month delay saw Patel’s Labour shadow, Nick Thomas-Symonds, accuse her of leaving the “nation’s doors unlocked” earlier this month, prior to the government’s U-turn. An attack which must have stung given Priti had been on the right side of the argument in Cabinet…

UPDATE:  Nigel Farage has just commented on Guido’s scoop this morning: “What a pity Boris Johnson didn’t listen to Priti Patel.”

Further developments: 

mdi-tag-outline Cabinet
mdi-account-multiple-outline Priti Patel
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