News, Culture & Society

Matt Hancock ambushed on GMB after government ‘boycott’ of 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. 

The Health Secretary was being interviewed by Sky News outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House when GMB reporter Nick Dixon was speaking live to presenters Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid. 

The reporter then 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, ‘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’. 

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

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.

Piers told viewers: ‘It is really scandalous that we are approaching 200 days of the entire government boycotting the main breakfast TV 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

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'

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'

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

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. 

The Tory leader, who was delivering milk in the marginal seat of Pudsey, West Yorkshire, during the election campaign, had repeatedly refused to appear on the show.   

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’. 

On Tuesday, before he walked into the BBC building, Mr Hancock did briefly answer a question from GMB’s Mr Dixon about the news that US drugmaker Pfizer had revealed its coronavirus vaccine is 90 per cent effective. 

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 constutuency

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 constutuency

Mr Hancock said: ‘This is a promising step forward. There’s lots more steps that we need to take. 

‘The vaccine candidate means that at 90 per cent effectiveness then we can have confidence in it being effective. 

‘We also need to know that it is safe before it can be licensed.’ 

He was then asked why he had boycotted GMB and when he would come back on the show.   

He replied: ‘I will come on as soon as I possibly can. Unfortunately I have got something in the diary tomorrow morning.’  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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