Piers asks Hancock if HE will take a paycut after he demanded footballers cut wages – but Health Sec says he won't
During a heated discussion on Good Morning Britain, the host repeatedly probed the Health Secretary for claiming the country was ready for the pandemic to hit the country, sparking off a fuming row.
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Piers asked him: "Jacinda Arden, she and her cabinet will take a 20 per cent pay cut to show solidarity with everyone else.
"Will you take a lead in the Government and take a pay cut and urge Cabinet colleagues to do the same?"
But Mr Hancock said he was doing his bit by working "every hour God sends" to try and keep the country safe and save lives during the pandemic.
"I am really pleased the footballers are making a contribution to charity as many of us do, me included," he said.
"Everyone needs to make sure they do their bit.
"I am not proposing to do that, I am proposing to work every hour God sends."
The row came just after Mr Hancock lost it with BBC host Nick Robinson on Radio 4's Today programme over a possible exit strategy for the lockdown.
But he refused to comment, saying any discussion of relaxing measures right now could have a direct impact on the number of lives lost.
He tried to interject but the Health Secretary snapped: "PLEASE, please let me answer."
Piers had also accused the Government of lagging behind "on PPE, testing, we are having to go cap in hand begging manufacturers to make ventilators…
"You got up in January in the House of Commons and said, we are completely prepared.
"Why is the reality that we are so under-prepared?"
Mr Hancock explained how the virus was a new one and had a "different impact than has ever been seen before".
Getting full length gowns which were never needed before was a challenge, he added.
But the conversation soon turned into bickering as Piers accused Mr Hancock of avoiding questions.
"Stop playing that game," he snapped. "You are trying to buy yourself time.
"I would admire you more if you just stood up and said 'we weren't prepared'."
But Mr Hancock said: "That misjudges the public mood, I think, Piers.
"I am now going to answer the previous question…"
But Piers interrupted to say: "I actually run this show.
"You do your job, and I'll do mine."
Mr Hancock appeared to begin to lose his temper, hitting back: "If you did your job, you would let me answer.
"I decide what I say as health secretary.
"If you interrupt me again I will just keep talking. So don’t, thank you."
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The Health Secretary insisted Britain took the "right decisions at the right time" and would not admit to mistakes being made – such as allowing Cheltenham and some football matches to go ahead when the virus had started to spread.
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