Piers Morgan reveals 201-day government ‘boycott’ of Good Morning Britain will end tomorrow with Matt Hancock scheduled to appear on ITV show
- Government have boycotted Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid’s show for 201 days
- Morgan, 55, announced that Matt Hancock is due to appear on the programme
- GMB reporter ambushed Health Secretary at BBC Broadcasting House this week
- The broadcaster boycott was labelled ‘pretty disgraceful’ by Nicola Sturgeon
A Government ‘boycott’ of ITV’s Good Morning Britain will end on Monday, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock due to appear on the programme.
Mr Hancock’s scheduled appearance on Monday will be the first by a member of the Government since April.
Presenter Piers Morgan said in a tweet: ‘BREAKING: Just had a call from Downing Street. The 201-day Government boycott of @GMB is over & Health Secretary @MattHancock will be appearing on the show tomorrow morning.’
Morgan, 55, had previously accused the Government of ‘cowardice’ for not fielding members of the Cabinet for questioning by him and co-host Susanna Reid, 49.
A Government ‘boycott’ of ITV’s Good Morning Britain will end on Monday, Piers Morgan has confirmed, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock due to appear on the programme
The announcement follows the departure of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top aide Dominic Cummings and director of communications Lee Cain from Downing Street this week.
Last month, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was ‘pretty disgraceful’ for UK Government ministers to refuse to appear on a breakfast TV show during the coronavirus pandemic, when she appeared on the show.
Morgan had previously accused the Government of ‘cowardice’ for not fielding members of the Cabinet for questioning by Morgan, 55, and co-host Susanna Reid, 49
Health Secretary was forced to awkwardly reply that he would ‘come on as soon as I possibly can’ but declined the opportunity to appear on Tuesday, adding, ‘unfortunately I have got something in the diary tomorrow morning’.
The minister then strode into the BBC building ahead of his interview with Radio 4’s Today programme, ignoring Mr Dixon’s final question asking if he would ‘come on GMB this week’.
Morgan has branded ministers ‘gutless little weasels’ for their boycott of the show, which began in April after a series of car crash interviews.
Piers told viewers: ‘It is really scandalous that we are approaching 200 days of the entire government boycotting the main breakfast TV show.
Matt Hancock was ambushed on live TV this morning when he was asked to appear on ITV’s Good Morning Britain after nearly 200 days of the Government’s boycott of the show
‘Frankly, if they can’t cope with a fiery, passionate interrogation of this kind of crisis, why would we trust them to run a country.
‘They can’t even cope with an interview. They can’t even cope with people like me raising our voices. It’s pathetic.’
Mr Hancock’s refusal to say when he would next appear on GMB came after he was savaged by Piers on the show in March, before the Government began their boycott.
The presenter took the Health Secretary to task over his response to the coronavirus crisis, before the first nationwide lockdown was imposed.
After being interviewed by Sky News outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House, GMB reporter Nick Dixon took the chance to ask why the Government had ‘boycotted GMB for 196 days’ and asked Mr Hancock when he would come back on the show
Mr Hancock replied that he would ‘come on as soon as I possibly can’ but declined the opportunity to appear on Tuesday, adding, ‘I have got something in the diary tomorrow morning’
The Good Morning Britain host said he was ‘surprised’ about the lack of ‘dramatic action’ by the Government to stop the virus’ spread when a pandemic in the UK appears inevitable.
The boycott began shortly after Care minister Helen Whately was blasted for sniggering on GMB in April as the extent of the coronavirus crisis in care homes was revealed.
She was taken to task by Piers as he grilled her over an exclusive report in the Daily Mail that deaths in care facilities were being hugely under-reported because of a lack of testing.
While Piers was questioning her, Ms Whately was seen laughing but claimed it was because he had shown her the front page of the Daily Mail but she could not see it because she did not have a screen available.
The minister then strode into the BBC building ahead of his interview with Radio 4’s Today programme, ignoring Mr Dixon’s final question asking if he would ‘come on GMB this week’
Before the exchange, Piers branded ministers ‘gutless little weasels’ for their boycott of the show, which began in April after a series of car crash interviews
The bruising exchange sparked a row on social media between those who said Piers had been unfair and others who supported his stance.
Just under a month later, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland was confronted on live TV by GMB journalist Jonathan Swain over what was then a 22-day boycott of the programme.
Last December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ended up hiding in a fridge to avoid having to speak to GMB.
During the tempestuous exchange, Mr Johnson’s press secretary Robert Oxley declared ‘for f***’s sake’ and blocked the path of GMB reporter Mr Swain as he tried to ambush the PM.
Mr Swain confronted Mr Johnson as he put milk crates in a van and said: ‘Morning Prime Minister, will you come on Good Morning Britain? Will you deliver on your promise to speak to Piers and Susanna?’
A tired-looking Mr Oxley loudly muttered: ‘For f***’s sake’ as his boss ignored the calls and wandered into a large walk-in chiller as Piers exclaimed: ‘He’s gone into the fridge’.
Boris Johnson was in Pudsey, West Yorkshire, this morning, but refused to appear live on GMB as he went on a milk round in a marginal constituency