Friday, 27 Nov 2020

Piers Morgan attacked by ex-Crystal Palace owner over Hancock interview -‘Learnt nothing!’

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After 201 days, the health secretary became the first Government minister to make an appearance on the ITV breakfast show following a “boycott”. During the interview Mr Hancock was asked why he had not offered to resign due to the handling of COVID-19.

However, Mr Morgan and his co-host Susanna Reid were criticised for “chasing headlines” following the interview.

Simon Jordan, former owner of Crystal Palace FC, wrote on Twitter: “Watching #gmb this morning with Matt Hancock…

“The point of this interview was what?… Two presenters chasing headline creation!

“We learnt nothing about vaccines or anything current.

“They wanted apologies for tweets from 6 months ago… is that the best we can do?!”

But the ever-vocal Mr Morgan retaliated claiming the entrepreneur should “try listening next time…”

He replied: “Hi Simon,

“a) Yes, we chase news-making headlines… you should try it!

“b) There was nothing new to hear about vaccines until this afternoon.

“c) We talked about many current issues incl NHS parking, care homes, Boris in isolation, testing.

“d) Try listening next time…”

But Mr Jordan hit back at the presenter saying he tried to listen but Mr Morgan was “busy talking over” the health secretary.

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Mr Jordan continued: “But seriously Piers…

“Rather than trying to get cheap popcorn headlines, wouldn’t you rather educate and inform your viewers?

“I did try to listen btw, albeit it was difficult to hear what the obsequious Matt Hancock was saying because you were busy talking over him (again!)”

During the interview, the combative TV presenter asked the minister where he has been “for the last 201 days”.

Mr Morgan added: “Do you think it’s right and proper that in the biggest health crisis this country has faced for 100 years, that you as health secretary and the entire cabinet and the Prime Minister have boycotted a big morning breakfast television programme, and our viewers, for six months?”

To which Mr Hancock replied: “We haven’t been away. I’ve been … working incredibly hard.

“I’m here to answer all the questions that you might have on behalf of your viewers.”

Mr Hancock also admitted “we’ve made mistakes” during the pandemic which has killed more than 50,000 deaths across the UK.

He cited guidance which was interpreted as preventing spouses attending the funerals of someone who died of coronavirus.

“That was wrong and we changed it,” Mr Hancock said.

The health secretary also suggested that knowledge of the asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 explained changes to rules for care homes.

Mr Morgan asked Mr Hancock whether it was “morally conscionable” that health workers may have to pay hospital parking charges after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health secretary said: “There are not those charges now. And there will not be during this pandemic. 

“Once the pandemic is over, then we will no doubt return to this question.”

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