‘We going to reopen?’ Marr forced to ask Patel 3 times if UK on track to leave lockdown

Priti Patel says BBC’s reputation ‘has been compromised’

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Andrew Marr repeatedly questioned whether coronavirus restrictions will be lifted as scheduled despite concerning clusters of Indian variant emerging in some areas of England. Priti Patel insisted the data “looks good” but failed to confirm the roadmap will be delivered upon as planned despite the prodding from the BBC presenter. Mr Marr said: “What we know is that the Indian variant is more transmissible and the vaccines are not quite as effective against it.

“Given that, are we going to unlock on June 21?”

The Home Secretary said: “Well, we have the roadmap.

“And the roadmap, of course, has a number of tests that lead to the next stage.

“We will continue to follow the data, look at those tests, those tests are important as to how we move onto the next stage. The other point we make is we need to speak about variants of concern.”

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The BBC presenter renewed his appeal for clarity, saying: “One more time, I’m so sorry to break in.

“Is the data as we have it today telling us we will open up on June 21 or not?”

Ms Patel said: “The data is positive in terms of where we are.

“And look at the vaccine information we have published about the level of protection against specific variants. But that doesn’t mean we’re green light all the way.

“There are stages which we will follow and I will say to the British public we all have to be conscientious.

“All of us who are out and about now, with distancing, we’re wearing masks, following all the rules – that’s part of our normal life now and that will continue. And that will help us to that unlocking to June 21.”

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