BBC’s Jo Coburn forced to step in as fierce row erupts over Labour ‘playing politics’

Labour must ‘get on board’ with government policy says Holden

Travellers returning to the UK from “red list” countries will be sent to quarantine hotels for 10 days, Boris Johnson has announced. But Labour’s Barry Gardiner hit out at the UK Government for its handling of Britain’s borders during the pandemic. Speaking to Politics Live, Mr Gardiner said: “It’s not about the lockdown of the UK, it’s about making sure that there is a comprehensive quarantining system with hostel accommodation and make sure people abide by the rules.”

Mr Holden replied: “I think Barry should be a bit careful and attacking me on that. I deliberately mentioned the fact that people have to quarantine at home at the moment or if they’re from red flag countries, they have to quarantine in the hotels which I think is an absolutely sensible thing to do.

“I do find it quite astonishing from Labour to be putting down a motion today to have a go at the Government on this.

“There are people locked up in hotels in the UK when so many Labour MPs only a few weeks ago were pushing for us to stop deporting foreign criminals.

“It’s like they want to lock up the innocent but they’re not interested in deporting the guilty.”

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Mr Gardiner interjected: “Deflection tactics won’t work, Richard.

“Let’s focus on the issue, you talk about red flag countries – you just added three more last week.

“What we’re talking about is anyone coming from abroad complying with that system.”

He added: “Throughout this crisis, the Government has been responding too little, too late.”

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Mr Holden added: “Last year Labour were saying we need to ease travel restrictions, now they’re saying we need to make them harder. It’s the typical Goldilocks policy.”

Ms Coburn then cut off the Tory MP before the row continued.

It comes as the Prime Minister told the Commons that passengers will be “met at the airport and transported directly into quarantine”.

The Home Office said the rules will apply to people arriving from countries where non-UK residents are already banned from entering the UK.


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These 30 destinations cover all of South America, southern Africa and Portugal.

Passengers will be “met at the airport and transported directly into quarantine”, Mr Johnson explained.

The cost of staying in one of these hotels has not been disclosed, but further details will be released next weel.

Setting out more details of the measures, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Despite the stay-at-home regulations we are still seeing people not complying with these rules.

“The rules are clear, people should be staying at home unless they have a valid reason to leave.”

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