Piers Morgan defends ‘uncomfortable’ interview with care minister on GMB

Piers Morgan defends 'uncomfortable' interview with care minister on GMB

Piers Morgan has defended a live interview he conducted with care minister Helen Whately, which sparked more than 600 complaints to Ofcom, saying it was not as "uncomfortable" as the conditions for the carers on the front line of the coronavirus crisis.

During an appearance on ITV's Good Morning Britain, Morgan asked Ms Whately for the number of health workers and care workers who have died from the illness.

The interview became increasingly animated, with some viewers accusing Morgan of "bullying" the politician. However, others praised him for "demanding answers".

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Piers Morgan (centre), editor of The Mirror, leaves the High Court in London after supermodel Naomi Campbell won 3,500 damages from the newspaper following a ruling that it acted in breach of confidence in publishing details of her therapy at Narcotics Anonymous.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson (left) with Piers Morgan during a party to celebrate the 180th Anniversary of weekly politics magazine The Spectator, held at the Churchill Hyatt Hotel in central London.
Piers Morgan, former Daily Mirror Editor and Arsenal fan
2019 British Academy Britannia Awards - Arrivals - Beverly Hills, California, U.S., October 25, 2019 - Piers Morgan. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Broadcaster Piers Morgan arrives at the BBC to appear on The Andrew Marr Show in London, Britain, January 28, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
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TV personality Piers Morgan and actor Gerard Butler (R) arrive on the red carpet at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington April 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT)
Piers Morgan of CNN arrives for a party thrown by Google and the Hollywood Reporter, on the eve of the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, at the W Hotel in Washington, April 27, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA POLITICS)
British talk show host Piers Morgan and former News of the World editor arrives for work at CNN after his British judicial inquiry in Los Angeles, California December 20, 2011. Morgan told a British judicial inquiry on Tuesday that he had never approved phone hacking during his time as a tabloid newspaper editor, and that his published boasts had merely been repeating rumours about journalistic ``dark arts.'' REUTERS/Gus Ruelas (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA)
Piers Morgan, host of "Piers Morgan Tonight," poses during the Turner Broadcasting Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, California January 6, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Model Naomi Campbell (L) walks down the catwalk with British television personality Piers Morgan during the Fashion For Relief Haiti fashion show and auction in London, February 18, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: FASHION)
Former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan takes his seat ahead of the English premier league soccer match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Highbury, London, May 15, 2004. Morgan was sacked after the newspaper conceded that photos they had published of British soldiers abusing an Iraqi were fake. NO ONLINE/INTERNET USAGE WITHOUT FAPL LICENCE. FOR DETAILS SEE WWW.FAPLWEB.COM REUTERS/Mike Finn-Kelcey MFK/DBP/ACM
Editor of Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper Piers Morgan leaves his home in London, May 14, 2004. Morgan, editor of London's Daily Mirror newspaper, was ousted on Friday over publication of pictures of alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners by British troops that proved to be fake. "The Board of Trinity Mirror has decided that it would be inappropriate for Piers Morgan to continue in his role as Editor of the Daily Mirror and he will therefore be stepping down with immediate effect," the newspaper said in a statement.
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Lucie Donlan and Piers Morgan at the ITV Palooza at the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
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Embargoed to 2030 Wednesday March 1 Piers Morgan arrives at the Design Museum in London for the launch of the new Range Rover Velar.
Eamonn Holmes and Piers Morgan (right) attending the ITV Gala at the London Palladium. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 19, 2015. See PA story SHOWBIZ ITV. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Kevin Pietersen (left) and Piers Morgan take part in the BGC Annual Global Charity Day at Canary Wharf in London.
Celia Walden and Piers Morgan at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in Berkeley Square, London.
Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden during the National Television Awards 2010, at the 02 Arena, London.
Katy Perry with the award for Aussie Hare Care Newcomer and Piers Morgan, at the Glamour Woman of the Year Awards 2009, at Berkeley Square Gardens, W1
Piers Morgan arrives at the Spectator and GQ 200th Anniversary Party ÐÊPolitics Meets Style, at Sir Rocco Forte's Brown's Hotel in central London.
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Fearne Cotton and Piers Morgan during a photocall to launch npower's search to find 'green-agers' across the UK to take part in it's Climate Cops programme, in Regents Park, central London.
Piers Morgan (L) and Andrew Neil attending the Grand Final of Miss Great Britain 2007, held at Grosvenor House hotel in central London.
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A spokeswoman for Ofcom said the regulator has received 643 complaints about the interview.

Ms Whately told Morgan: "Your focus on figures slightly belies the fact we are talking about individual people's lives here."

The presenter interjected: "I just asked you how many health workers and care workers have died from coronavirus on the front line; do you know the answer?"

She replied: "The latest information we have for NHS workers is that 19 NHS workers have very sadly died."

Morgan again interjected to say that figure is "complete and utter nonsense".

ITV shared a clip of the interview online, where one viewer replied: "He bullied her to such an extent I turned it off. I gave you a second chance after the bullying questioning yesterday of the minister.

"If you ask a question we need to hear the answer. I don't need to hear Piers Morgan's interpretation of the answer."

Another replied: "I have complained again to Ofcom. That was a disgusting interview the poor woman was bullied. I am disgusted the producers allowed the interview to continue. So embarrassing to watch."

However, another viewer said: "The only program holding these ministers to account, keep up the good work."

Another replied: "Can't praise @piersmorgan enough for the way he has demanded answers to admittedly tough questions through this pandemic.

"Expecting politicians to know numbers and answer questions isn't really asking much."

Morgan wrote on Twitter: "Apparently some people found my interview with Care minister @Helen_Whately today 'uncomfortable'.

"For perspective, it probably wasn't quite as 'uncomfortable' as what our under-protected NHS & carer frontline heroes are going through."

When one viewer accused him of "trying to embarrass a woman", he replied: "Ahhhh, of course... I was being sexist! Just for the record, I don't care what gender Govt ministers are, but I do care if they refuse to answer questions or start laughing when being asked about very serious matters."

He later added: "One thing that's surely obvious from my excruciating @GMB exchanges with Care minister Helen Whately today is that she is completely out of her depth & should be replaced by a heavyweight minister who can better handle the mounting & devastating care home #coronavirus crisis."

A spokeswoman for Ofcom said: "We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate."

Ms Whately also made appearances on BBC Breakfast and Sky News before the interview with Morgan on GMB.

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