PRITI Patel has sparked a fiery row after admitting she still doesn’t know how many people are coming into the UK with coronavirus.
The Home Secretary today admitted she did not know the number of infected coming into Britain, but insisted the figure was held “elsewhere” in the Government.
In a heated Home Affairs Committee, chair and Labour MP Yvette Cooper asked for an “estimate” of the amount coming in.
Ms Patel answered: “Well that I don’t know.
“On a daily basis, the number of people coming into the country is approximately 50,000 people and that’s across all modes of transport.
“I don’t have a figure of people coming into the country with coronavirus.
“That figure is held centrally elsewhere across Government.”
A seething Ms Cooper asked for a Government estimate, and pointed out the second Permanent Home Secretary had previously claimed Ms Patel had never asked for a figure.
She said: “What is the Government’s estimate?
“Shona Dunn told us in the last session that you had never asked for an estimate of how many people might be coming into the country with coronavirus.”
Ms Patel denied the accusation, but again failed to give a figure.
She said: “The figure that I was given, the percentage was 0.5 per cent.”
Ms Cooper responded that the senior minister had given the same figure at the last evidence session, only to be corrected.
She added: “Were you ever given, did you ever ask for, and were you ever given an estimate of the number of people coming into the country with coronavirus.”
Ms Patel said: “It was difficult to get accurate information and I have asked.”