Alok Sharma appeared on BBC Breakfast to be quizzed by Louise Minchin over the local lockdown in Leicester as well as the government’s latest testing numbers. Moments later on GMB, Piers and Susanna were left picking through Mr Sharma’s answers on the 64th day that a government minister has refused to appear on the ITV show. While Mr Sharma may not have appeared on GMB, Piers was quick to slam both his responses and the line of questioning.
Before a clip from Mr Sharma’s interview was played, Piers didn’t exactly give him the warmest of introductions.
The GMB host described Mr Sharma as “one of the worst-performing government ministers” to appear on GMB, adding “the bar was pretty low.”
Piers then revealed that the MP had gone onto the BBC show and admitted “he was wrong” about information he’d previously given the programme regarding testing figures.
A clip from the BBC interview the played which showed Louise asking the MP: “Can I ask you about something you said last week on this show?“
“You told me 240,000 people had been tested for COVID-19 on Monday, June 22. In fact, it was the number of tests, not the number of people tested. Would you like to admit you were wrong on that?”
Mr Sharma candidly explained: “Yes, I was wrong and I apologise for that, it was an inadvertent mistake if I can put it like that.
“I think that the reason the numbers of people have not come forward is that there is this small percentage of cases where people have been included more than once in the figures.
“And we are working with the UK statistics authority and looking at that. But I think the key issue for very many people is ‘Can I go and get a test?’”
Not exactly satisfied with Mr Sharma’s response, Piers ranted: “This is how it is now, they go on BBC Breakfast, they don’t get challenged on it at the time, we call them out on this show and they go back on BBC breakfast and admit they were wrong and apologise.
“This is how it goes, it’s actually quite a good system,” Piers added, prompting laughter from Susanna.
Piers continued: “Let me tell you what’s happened here. When he says ‘blah, blah’, what he actually means through the blather,
“Is that they haven’t revealed the number of people being tested since it emerged that they were counting – if you went and had a COVID test like I did – it was swabbing your nose and swabbing your mouth, they were counting that as two tests.