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Indian variant should be called ‘the Johnson variant’ over lax border measures

15th Jun 21 8:59 am

Labour has said that through “negligence and incompetence” of the Prime Minister and his “lax” border measures which caused the Indian variant to spread has led to the delay in lifting lockdown.

The Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds is to dub the Indian variant as “the Johnson variant” in a speech over the UK’s borders policy to MPs on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister announced on Monday evening that he is pushing back “Freedom Day” due to the exponential rise in the Indian variant across England.

Thomas-Symonds will argue in the Commons today that Boris Johnson’s “refusal to take tough decisions” has led to England facing another month of restrictions.

Some 20,000 passengers could have been infected with “the Johnson variant” as the Delta variant breached our borders from India between 2 April and 23 April.

In response to the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday the Labour MP is to say, “The delay is happening because a new variant first identified overseas was allowed to take hold in this country.

“There is one reason and one reason only that this happened; lax border measures by Conservative Ministers.

“They have allowed the Delta variant, first identified in India, to take hold here.

“Let’s call it what it is. Let’s put the blame where it should lie.

“In this country, it’s the Johnson variant.

“The Prime Minister’s negligence and incompetence, his refusal to take tough decisions have left Britain facing weeks more of restrictions and yet more uncertainty.

“It is a crystal clear metaphor for how Boris Johnson and his government work; they spend so much time posturing and posing over being tough at the borders, yet when it was a matter of keeping our country safe and the variants out, they failed.

“People across the country have every right to be angry about being let down so badly.

“We are an island country. Like New Zealand and Australia, our border protections should have been one of our natural strengths throughout this pandemic.

“Instead, it has been one of our greatest weaknesses.”

In placing India on to the red list and the timing of this he is to say, “Pakistan and Bangladesh were added on 9 April.

“Yet the Prime Minister waited 14 days to add India.

“Those 14 days have resulted in delays to our freedoms, untold damage to our economy and risks to thousands of jobs.

“Civil Aviation Authority figures suggest that at least 20,000 passengers who could have been infected with the Delta variant arrived from India between 2 and 23 April, that is a staggering number.

“It was unbelievably reckless that on his list of priorities Boris Johnson put having his photograph taken with Prime Minister Modi ahead of protecting the British people.

“Nobody is blaming people who travelled when they were permitted to do so; the blame lies with the Prime Minister for his unjustifiable delay.

“It was a fortnight of failure and we are all suffering the consequences

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