Presenter in jibe at Priti Patel over coronavirus deaths ‘on her watch’

Home secretary Priti Patel on Good Morning Britain. Photograph: ITV.

Home secretary Priti Patel on Good Morning Britain. Photograph: ITV. - Credit: Archant

Television presenter Lorraine Kelly has criticised the home secretary Priti Patel for thousands of death 'on her watch' as the politician appeared on Good Morning Britain.

Lorraine Kelly interviews Priti Patel over coronavirus quarantine at airports. Photograph: ITV.

Lorraine Kelly interviews Priti Patel over coronavirus quarantine at airports. Photograph: ITV. - Credit: Archant

Lorraine Kelly issued a jibe at the home secretary for the overall government's handling of the pandemic, as well as the 'ludicrous' situation surrounding coronavirus quarantine.

She said: 'I wonder how you are coping on a human level, because on your watch so many deaths.

'People saying it could be as high as 60,000, the prime minister was at death's door.

'You've come in for an awful lot of criticism, remember when you took the Downing Street briefing, you got a lot of criticism for that.


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'You've been accused of bullying, you've been accused of all sorts of things.

'As a human being, how do you deal with that every day and get up and go and do your work and carry on?'

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But Patel insisted she does not let criticism get to her.

'Well first of all Lorraine, I'm a politician.


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'My main priority is to serve my country and to serve the Prime Minister who's put me in this role and to do the best job that I possibly can.

'I cannot let that criticism get to me. We're in a national emergency and all of us, collectively, are doing our utmost to stop the spread of this virus.'

She added: 'I'm here to serve, to deliver for the British public.'

Kelly also criticised Patel for the 'ludicrious' situation at airports.

She said: 'We've got this ludicrous situation in our airports right now which it seems utterly bizarre and mind-boggling.'

She pointed to a study which showed there was 18 million people arriving in the UK at airports between the start of the year and March 22nd, while only 273 were quarantined.

'We reckon there's about 15,000 people a day coming in here, there's no checks, there's no tests, the safety of the airport workers is paramount and people could be bringing coronavirus in from America, Asia, parts of Africa.

'And we're not testing them and we don't seem to be doing anything about this and it seems utterly bizarre,' she explained.

But Patel tried to claim it was 'not fully accurate'.

'You've got to remember at the beginning of the year when coronavirus became more prevalent around the world, China in particular, Wuhan, spread through parts of Europe, we were asking people to self-isolate in January, February and March, people that were coming into the UK,' she answered.

'It wasn't mandatory though!' pointed out Kelly. 'You weren't saying 'you must do this,' it was up to them! It was up to them, it was their common sense.

'My daughter for example flew back over two weeks ago from Singapore, decided herself to go into quarantine because she thought it was the responsible thing to do,' she added.

Patel replied: 'At the beginning of the year, we were asking people to self-isolate.

'This is [now] about conditionality, all the measures we are speaking about now about unlocking society - that's are all conditional on all of us playing our part in keeping the R rate down, if that goes up again, then quite cranky that would be so devastating for all of us that would lead to more restrictions and to a great spread of the disease.

'That is why now is the time, now we've got the value down to bring such measures in place. We have to stop a second wave'.

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