Matt Hancock has been involved in a series of ill-tempered live TV and radio interviews today where he appeared frustrated when repeatedly asked for ‘clarity’ on how Britain would be eased out of the coronavirus lockdown.
The Health Secretary was grilled on whether the Government’s ‘road map’ was confusing and even appeared to roll his eyes ahead of his appearance on BBC Breakfast this morning.
Mr Hancock’s off-guard moment came as host Louise Minchin said Labour had demanded ‘more clarity’ on how people would return to normal life – and his look to the sky appeared to be aimed at someone behind the camera.
And then around half an hour later on BBC Radio 4 he was asked about the confusion surrounding whether people should have returned to work on Monday or Wednesday and said: ‘I think that if that is the biggest complaint the Today programme has then I think things are fine’, adding: ‘I think we’ve been clear throughout’.
Mr Hancock also moaned that criticism for ‘letting down’ care homes was ‘really unfair’, despite almost 10,000 residents UK residents dying, poor testing and a lack of PPE for staff.
The Tory Health Secretary, who declined to face Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain, made a series of tense appearances on the BBC and Sky News and appeared exasperated at times.
Later in an interview with Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on ITV’s This Morning, he denied that social distancing rules about not being able to see both parents at the same time were ‘utterly bonkers’, insisting it is ‘common sense’. He also advised against hugging strangers until a coronavirus vaccine is found, encouraged people to make their own face masks and admitted that ‘lavish international holidays’ were unlikely for Britons this summer.
Boris Johnson has been accused of offering ‘vague’ advice and ‘failing to give the public clear directions’ on the way out of the crisis, but again sent one of his ministers out to defend his policies despite Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s disastrous media round yesterday.
The continuing barrage of criticism and confusion over the PM’s five-step exit plan came as:
Children face being sent to different schools with staggered start times and a maximum of 15 pupils to a class under radical plans to reopen classrooms within weeks;
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to cut the furlough scheme to 60% of pay from July to reduce the bill and encourage people to return to work;
Unions say businesses will need at least another fortnight to be safe to open and officials will be in charge of many inspections;
Ryanair set to restore 40% of its normal flight schedule from July 1. Passengers must wear masks, have their temperatures checked before flying and ask to use the toilet;
Matt Hancock rolled his eyes at the beginning of a BBC TV interview today (pictured) as pressure grows over the clarity in the Government’s lockdown plan
The Health Secretary also looked frustrated during his interview with Kay Burley on Sky News
Later in an interview with Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on ITV’s This Morning, he denied that social distancing rules about not being able to see both parents at the same time were ‘utterly bonkers’
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British people are unlikely to be able to go on international holidays this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.
Asked on ITV’s This Morning show if people should accept that the normal summer holiday season for travelling abroad was cancelled, he replied: ‘I think that’s likely to be the case.’
While the government is slowly trying to open up different segments of the economy, some form of social distancing will be required for some time.
‘The conclusion from that is it is unlikely that big, lavish international holidays are going to possible for this summer,’ he said.
Phillip Schofield also asked Mr Hancock why Britons were being asked to ‘pick a parent’ by only allowed people to see one at a time.