Energy minister Greg Hands left Good Morning Britain presenter Kate Garraway and viewers frustrated after he failed to give his opinion on the exodus of aides leaving Boris Johnson’s side following the Prime Minister’s Jimmy Saville comments to Keir Starmer on Monday.
The morning host and GMB fans alike were left surprised by the Conservatives MP’s determination to avoid commenting on the situation which has seen five aides to Mr Johnson leave Downing Street this week.
The exodus followed comments made by the Prime Minister to Labor leader and former director of prosecutions with the Crown Prosecution Service, Keir Starmer in the House of Commons on Monday (January 31).
During the exchange in commons, Boris said Mr Starmer spent his time “prosecuting journalists instead of prosecuting Jimmy Saville”, a case Mr Starmer never personally came into contact with during his time at the CPS.
Mr Johnson’s defense of his comments in the wake of the event has since lead to five senior aides to the Prime Minister parting ways, including policy advisor Munira Mirza who condemned her former boss saying “it was an inappropriate and partisan reference to a horrendous case of child sex abuse” and that his failure to properly apologise for his comments lead to her resignation.
It was following the fifth resignation of Elena Narozanski that Mr Hands appeared on Good Morning Britain to speak to Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway who kicked off their interview by asking the minister for energy, clean growth and climate change his thoughts.
However, it was made quickly obvious to Ben and Kate that Mr Hands was not willing to put his thoughts forward, claiming: “in politics you don’t have to have an opinion on everything”.
Having already avoided the question once, Kate asked Mr Hands again: “It’s just your honest opinion and as a minister on something which has led to key members of Boris Johnson, our Prime Minister’s inner circle resigning, do you think it was right or wrong ? Should he apologise, or not?”
Mr Hands responded: “Well, what he was doing was making reference to Mr Starmer’s…”
Before Hands could finish his reiteration, a frustrated Kate interjected, saying: “I know what he was doing, he clarified it very, very well – but was he right to make the slur and should he apologise if you don’t mind answering? “
Mr Hands again explained Mr Johnson’s defence, causing Kate to jump back in, adding: “Forgive me, forgive me, I’m sorry, I do want to get onto the big issue I’m sure you want to talk about which is energy , forgive me, I do understand the point he was making, the question was, do you agree with it? Should he apologise or not?”
The Chelsea and Fulham MP said: “It’s not my job to…”, “Have an opinion?”, added Kate, to which Hands continued: “In politics, you don’t have to have an opinion on everything.”
“What about the Prime Minister?” Kate replied, leaning back into her chair.
Ben Shepherd then turned Mr Hands’ attention to the fact Chancellor Rishi Sunak openly told journalists during his energy crisis rebate press conference that he personally wouldn’t have made such a statement to the leader of the opposition if he was in Mr Johnson’s place.
Ben said: “I don’t understand why you can’t offer an opinion.” a frustration equally shared by GMB viewers on Twitter.
@TudorRose71 said: “What an absolute car crash of an interview by Greg Hands”, with @MiniRetrobates adding: @GregHands is without doubt the most pointless guest ever to appear on #GMB. And it’s a very long list.
@emmajones2324 Tweeted: “Omg Greg Hands answer @kategaraway question it’s simple yes or no and it’s frustrating when we can see it was wrong yet you whimper about and deflect from actually answering the question @GMB!!”
Good Morning Britain returns to ITV at 6am every weekday morning.