Another day, another fiery encounter between Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan and a government minister.
Not for the first time, Morgan has accused a Conservative MP of laughing when asked about alleged failings in the government’s coronavirus response.
This time it was Home Office minister Victoria Atkins who Morgan suggested was "laughing" over the government’s PPE failures.
In the excruciating interview, Morgan grilled the Minister for Safeguarding on the Panorama investigation on the lack of PPE available to NHS staff on the coronavirus frontline. The BBC investigation found that there were no gowns, visors, body bags or swabs in the government's covid-19 pandemic stockpile. But the government said that it had taken the right steps and was doing everything it could to increase stocks.
Morgan asked the minister:
On the 19th March, the UK downgraded covid-19 from HCID, which is the high consequence of infectious disease category which requires a very high level of PPE, legally, for health workers it was downgraded.
I just want to know why?
We have been following scientific advice on this absolutely throughout. We have been absolutely clear-
Morgan then interjected:
You've just said that.
Do you know why it was downgraded or not?
Atkins, who was appearing on the programme to talk about domestic abuse, said:
I'm not a scientist, Piers.
No, you're just a Government minister in charge of safeguarding.
As Atkins appeared to laugh, Morgan said:
Well you can laugh - I don't know why you all keep laughing when I talk about this. It's not funny!
Atkins then pointed out that she was on the show to talk about the domestic abuse bill, but Morgan continued to press her on the issue. She eventually admitted that she hadn't heard of Exercise Cygnus, a 2016 study into how to prepare for a global pandemic.
Why didn't you act on those concerns? Why are you laughing?
The government keeps sending out ministers like you who don't have a clue
Do you see how this looks to the viewers?
After the interview, Morgan said:
Sorry, I just found that shocking. people will say, why... anyone listening to that minister, making it up as she goes along.
She just repeated what I said.
It's ridiculous and offensive.
Morgan's interview technique has come under intense scrutiny during the pandemic. Lots of people have labelled him a "hero" for holding the government to account, while others have called for him to resign. It was reported that up to 4,000 complaints were made to media regulator OfCom about his recent interview with care minister Helen Whately, which eventually cleared him wrongdoing.