BBC Breakfast viewers have been left equal parts shocked and impressed as Dan Walker became ‘hostile’ with Michael Gove this morning.
Dan, 44, spoke with Cabinet Minister, Michael, 53, about why the Government delayed the end of lockdown and whether the Delta variant played a role in their decision.
This comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 56, pushed the end of lockdown to July 19 at the earliest.
‘A point Labour has made is the reason we have had to keep these restrictions for another four weeks because the action wasn’t taken quickly enough to put India on the red list,’ Walker said.
‘The words that Jonathan Ashworth used was “instead of putting them on the red list, you rolled out the red carpet”.
‘Do you accept now that if you had worked more quickly with regards to your decision about India we wouldn’t be in this position?’
Gove replied: ‘Well Jonathan is a politician with the gift of the gab but the reality is we put India on the red list before Delta was a variant under investigation.
‘And well before it was a variant of concern and of course, we can only act on the information we have at the time.’
Walker wasn’t having it, as he continued to question why India wasn’t put on the red list earlier by the government.
Bangladesh and Pakistan were put on the red list on April 9. While India had a higher number of cases at the time, the country wasn’t added until April 23.
Walker went on to suggest that this was all linked to a potential trade deal with India, and Johnson’s priority was a photo opportunity rather than to protect the borders.
‘Boris Johnson wouldn’t put the health of the country at risk in that way. People who are peddling this line are trying to peddle a political point,’ Gove said.
Walker responded: ‘You say to look and the facts and the timelines, the point I was making to is is that India should have been on the red list earlier than it was.’
A back and forth continued before Walker, who had clearly had enough, ended the interview.
‘OK, I don’t want to go over the same ground again. You’ve tried to answer those questions and our audience will be able to make their minds up about that,’ he said.
Viewers heaped praise on Walker for how he handled the interview but were also outraged by what the Cabinet Minister had said.
One viewer tweeted: ‘Well done Dan Walker. Gove exposed telling lies yet again. Anyone watching the news from India could see what was happening.’
Another added: ‘I like that Dan Walker went “hostile witness” on Gove; “…well viewers can draw their own conclusions…”‘
‘Dan Walker has upped his game over the last few weeks. Asking questions backed up by researched evidence. Michael Gove rattled,’ another person tweeted.
Another viewer said: ‘Dan Walker was brilliant at holding Gove to account this morning. Gove was reduced to lying throughout the whole interview.’
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One.
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