LEAKED comments by Boris Johnson have been labelled “disgusting” after the Prime Minister joked that the UK could become “the Saudi Arabia of penal policy”.

The Tory leader spoke at a Tory party fundraiser behind closed doors on September 10 where he praised Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Downing Street previously denied the Johnson made variations of the comment but footage from the weekend obtained by Business Insider suggested otherwise.

It comes as the Home Secretary was accused of breaking the ministerial code for the third time after she met two airline executives and a billionaire Tory donor over Covid travel rules.

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It is alleged Patel arranged a meeting on August 11 at Heathrow Airport’s Hilton Garden Inn, which is part of a chain owned by Tory donor Surinder Arora.

Speaking at the £500-per-seat dinner that took place at the InterContinental London Park Lane in Mayfair, Johnson said: “In the immortal words of Priti Patel or Michael Howard or some other hardline home secretary, addressing the inmates of one of our larger prisons: it’s fantastic to see so many of you here.”

Johnson then went on to congratulate the private sector on its success in the creation of vaccines.

He said: "And who invented that vaccine, my friends? Was it produced in the laboratories of the Department of Health and Social Care? Was it Public Health England? Was it the NHS? No!

“No it wasn't. No, it was the private sector, it was big pharma, it was the UK pharmaceuticals industry.

"We are basically, fundamentally, the party of enterprise and wealth creation. And I salute the City of London, incarnated here, and I always stick up for the wonderful bankers. Any bankers here?”

At that point nobody said yes which caused laughter in the room.

Johnson went on to defend bankers.

The National: The comment come despite rumours Priti Patel could face the sack in a Cabinet reshuffleThe comment come despite rumours Priti Patel could face the sack in a Cabinet reshuffle

"You're looking at the only politician who stood up for you in 2008," he said.

The Prime Minister also boasted about crime statistics saying it was "partly because we took the precaution of locking up the entire population, including the criminals”.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson defends Priti Patel in row over billionaire Tory donor meeting

He continued: "I said last year we're the Saudi Arabia of wind. Probably the Saudi Arabia of penal policy, under our wonderful Home Secretary," he joked as the audience laughed.

The comments were met with backlash, with Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner describing them as “disgusting”.

The MP tweeted: “Saudi Arabia beheads its own citizens, tortures activists exercising their democratic rights and kills homosexuals.

"This is disgusting. As ever with Boris Johnson behind closed doors the masks slips and we see what he really thinks.”

Downing Street has been approached for comment.