Steve Barclay says ‘I recognise the upset’ over garden photo
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Good Morning Britain was hosted by Charlotte Hawkins and Adil Ray on Tuesday morning. The presenting duo welcomed Conservative MP Stephen Barclay onto the programme to discuss images which have recently emerge appearing to show lockdown rule breaking gatherings taking place at 10 Downing Street. Hawkins grilled the politician about the numerous parties and gatherings that seem to have taken place when the UK was under strict Coronavirus restrictions.
Earlier this week a photo of a gathering at 10 Downing Street that was taken in May 2020, when the UK was in lockdown, was released.
The picture shows government officials and Carrie Johnson with cheese and wine as they gather together in the garden.
The government has since described the photographed event as a “work meeting”.
However, following public outrage, Hawkins was keen to address the photograph with Barclay on Good Morning Britain.
Hawkins began: “There is a lot of defensiveness isn’t there on behalf of the government over these gatherings, over accusations of exactly what was going on?
“Why is it that you can’t just hold your hands up and say ‘Look, we know this looks bad. We’ve got this investigation going into it?’
“Because there was so much upset from people, especially when they contrasted what they were doing in May last year versus what the government was doing,” she fumed.
The Good Morning Britain presenter went on to explain how many viewers have been sharing images of what their life looked like under lockdown restrictions.
She said: “I don’t know if you’ve seen the pictures that people were tweeting, but we had one photo and someone was saying ‘This is my son seeing his Nanny through a window. It broke my heart and I’m angry now over what happened.’
“Another picture of a woman and Stephen says ‘This is the last photo I have of my mum alive. In May 2020 she was living alone with a serious illness. When she suggested sitting two metres apart in the garden I said better not it’s against the rules.’
“There is so much upset from people and that doesn’t seem to be sufficiently acknowledged over the amount of seemingly rule-breaking that was going on in the government versus what the rest of the country were doing,” Hawkins commented.
Barclay replied: “Well, Charlotte, I am recognising that there were considerable sacrifices made and that there is considerable upset as you have said.
“That is why we have an investigation through Sue Gray,” he said.
Ray also hit out at the politician asking: “When you break the rules and you break restrictions why should anybody listen to your plans on restrictions anyway?
“I mean, what did you make of this picture that we’ve all seen?” the presenter questioned.
“I recognise that the British public have made huge sacrifices in response to the pandemic and there’s been considerable anger, that’s been understandable, around for example the photo of CCHQ gathering or the video from the press week.
“Now, in terms of Number 10, there is an investigation that will be carried out by Sue Gray.
“She’s an extremely respected independent senior figure and she will look at all these issues,” he explained.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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