The Labour MP for Leicester South appeared on ITV Good Morning Britain unchallenged as his counterpart, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, refused once again to take questions from Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid. But as Jonathan Ashworth branded the Government’s decision to boycott the morning programme “pretty pathetic”, GMB viewers took to Twitter to dismantle his claims.
The Labour frontbencher said: “I just think it’s ludicrous, I don’t understand why they won’t come on your programme.
“Yes you ask some tough questions, but they are the people running the country.
“My constituents in Leicester want answers and it’s the least they could do.
“Just come on a show like yours watched by millions of people to answer some simple questions.
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“Yes you ask tough questions, yes you give us a hard time, but we’re politicians, we have to accept that.
“I just think it’s pretty pathetic that they run scared from you.”
Supporters of the Government were prompt to express their outrage against both Jonathan Ashworth and Piers Morgan.
One viewer wrote: “Piers Morgan, so you and John Ashworth choose not to question whether the flare up could be as a result of mass gatherings in Leicester. Elephant in the room.”
And another: “Johnathon Ashworth-what a waster. This happens in his own backyard, clueless and only interested in blame.”
One GMB viewer pointed out the Labour MP was “brown-nosing Morgan to score political points”.
And another wrote: “I notice that GMB are trying to blame anything they can about the spike in Leicester along with Johnathon Ashworth, people need guidance he said, well they were told not to gather in groups which they ignored and marched for a BLM protest, no mention of it though.”
Someone else took on the ITV host, asking: “Piers why did you not ask John Ashworth why he was not aware of sweatshops in his constituency and what he was doing or proposing to do about them?”
And another: “I’d like to see Labour handle this national disaster that every country is coping with and see what sort of mess they’d make of things.”
One GMB viewer wrote in more definitive terms: “Ashworth, hasn’t got a bloody clue what goes on ,he also says what you want to hear, typical Labour.”
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The shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said people in Leicester “just want clarity” over the return of tighter lockdown measures for the city.
The Labour MP for Leicester South said that people were “really worried” about what the changes will mean for their children and businesses.
He said: “I don’t think it’s fair to the people of Leicester to announce at a press conference on a Thursday afternoon that Leicester has a problem, but then actually take 11 days to tell Leicester that they are going into lockdown and what they are going to do about it.
“People are really worried in Leicester, people are going to be anxious. People who are shielding are very, very scared.
“People who were planning to get their businesses open this Saturday are desperately worried about their livelihoods and what happens next with the economy.
“And every parent in Leicester is concerned about the safety of their children obviously, but is also deeply concerned about their children missing out on more education.”