GMB’s viewer gives testimony about eating one meal a day and staying ...
Boris Johnson boasted about introducing free bus passes after he was told about a pensioner who rides buses all day to keep energy costs down at home.
In his first Good Morning Britain interview for five years, and after he infamously ran away and hid in a fridge ahead of the 2019 general election, the prime minister spoke to Susanna Reid about a range of issues including the war in Ukraine, Partygate and his record in office.
But it was when Reid touched on the cost of living crisis when Johnson really put his foot in it.
Reid said people had got in touch with the show to explain the impact rising energy prices had had on them and spoke about a 77-year old widow named Elsie who lives in a council house. She said that her energy bills have increased from £17 a month to £85 meaning she will pay £816 more a year and she has resorted to drastic measures to make ends meet.
To cut costs, she has "resorted to eating one meal a day" and is "losing weight". "She goes to the supermarket at the end of the day to buy yellow stickered discounted items, she gets up early in the morning to use her freedom bus pass to stay on buses all day to avoid energy at home," Reid said.
Johnson's response? "I don't want Elsie to cut back on anything," he said before saying something that left us with our heads in our hands:
"Just to remind you, the 24-hour freedom bus pass was something that I actually introduced."
"Marvellous so Elsie should be grateful to you for her bus pass," Reid quipped back, before Johnson chuntered on about giving more money to councils and tax rebates.
“We are making sure we take the steps now to invest in our energy supply to make sure we have help in the medium and long term," he said.
Susanna Reid - Elsie, 77, has resorted to eating one meal a day & uses her freedom bus pass to sit on buses all day to stay warm... what else should she cut back on? \n\nBoris Johnson - I introduced the freedom bus pass\n\nSR - So she should be grateful to you for her bus pass\n\n#GMBpic.twitter.com/QZhEawhNSQ
People thought his bus comment was a tasteless thing to say:
This is the most powerful portion of the interview so far. PM doesn\u2019t seem to have answers for what Elsie should cut back on - she doesn\u2019t qualify for council tax rebate as her home in Band F. She travels on the bus through the day to keep warmhttps://twitter.com/paulwaugh/status/1521395422132318210\u00a0\u2026
On GMB Susanna Reid raises cost of living case of Elsie, 77, who uses her freedom pass to sit on buses all day to stay warm. Boris Johnson says he introduced the freedom pass. Not sure that\u2019s the ideal answer. This is a brutal section of the interview.
Susanna Reid has just Boris Johnson a story about a 77 year old woman who rides around on buses all day because she can\u2019t afford to heat her home.\n\nJohnson: \u201cI actually introduced the freedom bus pass.\u201d\n\nGood grief.
And just to do a bit of fact-checking about the bus passes...
Boris didn't introduce the Freedom Pass when mayor of London.\nIt was already being run/funded by the 33 London boroughs. It still is.\nHis Government prevented older Londoners using the Freedom Pass before 930am (under a @tfl bailout) three months after the start of the pandemic.
When asked about Partygate, he once again said he would not comment until the conclusion of the police investigation but said he had not received further fines, and said he would not resign unlike other officials who broke rules including Matt Hancock, because he was "getting on" and had delivered Brexit. That's fine then...
And at the end of the interview when Reid said it was time to end the show to cut to ITV's Lorraine hosted by (of course) Lorraine Kelly, he asked "who's Lorraine", to which Reid replied "a legend".
Perhaps he should have stayed in the fridge...
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