Tory MP told to 'have some respect' after snubbing doctor on GMB
Independent

A Tory MP made a pretty rude interjection when a doctor's line disconnected during a debate about the government's new 'Living with Covid' plan on Good Morning Britain (GMB).

Andrew Bridgen was given a slap on the wrist by host Susanna Reid when he expressed gratitude that palliative care doctor Rachel Clarke, who appeared on the show via a video link, appeared to experience technical difficulties resulting in her being cut off mid-sentence.

Clarke had been criticising the government's decision to stop the obligation for people with coronavirus to self-isolate. She said that while the Covid situation had improved with fewer hospitalisations and deaths, ending mandatory self-isolation was "not just irresponsible or reckless" but "underlies the dishonesty of the government rhetoric throughout" the coronavirus pandemic.

She added: "There are people who have spent two years essentially under house arrest, they're too scared to leave and I feel as though the government rhetoric throughout the pandemic has been about protecting vulnerable people when the reality that we've seen over and over again is actually those most -"

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This was the moment the line froze, and when Reid pointed that out, Bridgen remarked "thank goodness", causing Reid to say:

"Let's have some respect for somebody who works on the front line Andrew Bridgen."

It comes as Johnson is expected to end all remaining Covid measures in an announcement this evening. Speaking before the announcement, he said his plan would bring society "towards a return to normality" while Number 10 added that the plan would take a "cautious approach" retaining "some surveillance systems and plans for contingency measures".

Others, like Clarke, have spoken out against the plan with Prof Anthony Costello, professor of global health and sustainable development at UCL, telling the BBC: "The worry about lifting the legal restrictions is that we are telling not only our population but the world, that there is really nothing to worry about, that it's all over when it isn't."

Meanwhile, addressing concerns that payments for people off sick due to Covid will come to an end, Labour's shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said "now is not the time to start charging for tests or weaken sick pay".

He said he was "particularly concerned" about the end of free testing and described such a move as "like being 2-1 up with 10 minutes left of play and subbing your best defender".

Putting the merits and problems with the plan to one side, people criticised Bridgen for his jibe, with viewers branding him "disrespectful".

Elsewhere on the show, Bridgen said he stood by his decision to submit a letter of no-confidence in the PM in January over the Partygate scandal.

Writing The Telegraph, he had warned of "a moral vacuum at the heart of our Government" in the wake of revelations.

We imagine Clarke doesn't have much confidence in Bridgen either.

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