Piers Morgan has urged Priti Patel to resign after 400,000 criminal records disappeared from the national crime database.
The home secretary has come under mounting pressure to take responsibility for an error that led to hundreds of thousands of police records being deleted from UK-wide databases.
Data was wiped from the Police National Computer (PNC) – which stores and shares criminal records information across the UK – after being inadvertently flagged for deletion.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Patel was asked if she would resign over the blunder.
“We are working night and day to bring these records back,” Patel said prompting co-host Piers Morgan to press: “I know but having just told us that they exist elsewhere, if you don’t find them, will you resign?”
Patel reflected the question when Morgan asked once again, choosing instead to respond: “It’s my imperative. As home secretary, I need to keep the public safe and to find this data.”
Earlier, Morgan probed the minister over claims she knew where the records were located.
“You’re saying as a fact that these 400,000 crime records – which we’ve all assumed have disappeared – you know with 100% certainty that they exist elsewhere and so there is nothing to worry about?” Morgan asked.
“We have not said that they have completely disappeared,” Patel replied, adding: “This is down to software; they could still be in the police national computer.”
Taking to Twitter, Paul F wrote: “You know you’re well beaten when even the normally mute Susanna is able to have a dig at you.”
@alemariscalco added: “It does not occur to anybody in this awful, incompetent government even to consider the idea to resign or ask for resignation.”