Matt Hancock was ambushed live on air by Good Morning Britain on the 196th day of the Government’s refusal to be interviewed on the programme.
‘This is a promising step forward, but there’s lots more steps we need to take,’ he told GMB.
When asked when he would next appear on the programme, Mr Hancock responded: ‘I’m very happy to be talking to you this morning, especially as we have this promising news.’
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Nick tried to nail the minister down for a date, but Mr Hancock simply kept repeating, ‘As soon as I possibly can,’ and wouldn’t commit.
The correspondent requested he come for an interview tomorrow, but the health secretary frostily retorted: ‘Unfortunately I’ve already got something in the diary tomorrow morning, and I’ve got an awful lot of work to do to get this vaccine rolled out.’
He then walked off and ignored all further questions, with Nick following him to the doors of the BBC building and requesting he come on the show to ‘answer the questions of ITV viewers’.
The encounter comes after Government ministers started boycotting the programme more than six months ago following a series of car crash interviews about the coronavirus pandemic.
The morning news show had daily appearances from ministers, with Piers frequently clashing with them as he demanded answers surrounding the handling of Covid-19.
After returning back on the show in May following a virus scare, he claimed ministers were ‘no longer allowed’ by the Government to appear on GMB.
‘The Government won’t come on today, they’ve banned any ministers coming on here, after a series of complete train wreck performances by junior ministers,’ he said.
‘It’s not our fault that they were so ill-informed, but as a result the Government will not come on.’
Piers has on several occasions clashed with politicians on the show over their handling of the coronavirus spread, their lack of preparation for it, and the lack of PPE equipment.
Thousands of viewers complained after a recent interview involving care minister MP Helen Whately, who appeared to snigger when talking about a possible 4,000 coronavirus-related care home deaths that had gone unreported.
He was later cleared of being ‘combative’ by Ofcom and the complaints were not followed up.
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