GMB: Susanna clashes with Richard over government failings
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North East Cambridgeshire MP Stephen Barclay appeared on Good Morning Britain to defend the government’s coronavirus strategy as scientific reports confirm as many as 20,000 lives could have been saved if the UK had entered lockdown earlier. His comments provoked an outburst from Susanna Reid as co-presenter Richard Madeley sympathised with the decision.
A row erupted during the conversation with Barclay, who claimed last year’s lockdown shouldn’t have been initiated any sooner.
Madeley took a look at some viewer comments in response, and was somewhat surprised when most were in agreement.
He said: “Obviously it was a steep learning curve and everyone accepts that.
“We’ve been bombarded with messages on this story throughout the show today, and I have to say the majority of people are surprisingly forgiving.”
The GMB host relayed a number of messages maintaining the government did not have enough data to justify an earlier lockdown at the time.
Several others were still angry with the government’s tactics after being separated from their loved ones.
Some viewers said they lost family members as they were forced to move older relatives back to care homes last year.
However, Madeley claimed the majority were on the government’s side.
“On the whole, you seem to be getting away with it,” Madeley admitted.
Fellow presenter Reid hit back as she took issue with Madeley claiming the government had gotten away with the loss of several thousand British lives.
She retorted: “No, sorry, I take issue with that.”
Her co-host interjected: “Do you? Go on.”
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“Yeah, there’s a litany of mistakes, Steve Barclay,” she accused the MP.
Meanwhile, Madeley merely chuckled as his co-host put the politician to task.
“I’m afraid you haven’t got away with anything, as this report shows. Too many things were done too late.”
A report by fellow MPs found the UK’s response to coronavirus, backed by scientists at the time, was one of the worst ever public health failures.
The government, led by PM Boris Johnson, initially aimed to achieve herd immunity through infection and avoiding full lockdown.
However, it is now claimed many more lives could have been saved had a lockdown been achieved a few weeks earlier.
GMB airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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