Kate Garraway confronted Matt Hancock to his face on Good Morning Britain, recalling how she was unable to visit her husband Derek Draper in hospital during the early days of the pandemic.
Derek, 55, was first hospitalised with Covid-19 in March 2020, and has received round-the-clock care at his home following his long stay in hospital.
The virus left the former lobbyist with health complications over the past two years, including holes in his heart, in addition to kidney failure and damage to his liver and pancreas.
In June 2021, former health secretary Hancock was caught on CCTV footage kissing his aide Gina Coladangelo in a breach of social distancing guidelines, leading to him subsequently resigning from his position.
On Tuesday’s GMB, Susanna Reid – who had been grilling the politician over his I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! stint with Richard Madeley – turned to Garraway to lead a discussion over the MPs role during the pandemic.
‘You represent, Kate, not just Derek, but somebody who was so devastated by Covid, so early on in the pandemic. But also through your documentaries, you’ve met so many people who’ve been affected by Covid and suffering long Covid, health workers,’ Reid said to her colleague.
‘How do you feel sitting here in the studio, sitting here with Matt Hancock, the health secretary at the time? Are you able to put your personal feelings to one side?’
After acknowledging that some moves that Hancock tried to make in government that could have been ‘helpful to people’ were ‘swept away’, Garraway addressed the strong reaction that his appearance on I’m A Celebrity had with angry viewers.
‘As soon as it was announced he was going in, people immediately contacted me because I’ve been in the jungle,’ the 55-year-old said.
‘When you talk about the moment that you fell in love, and was seen – was caught – falling in love, and whether it was guidelines or legal, and you say that’s irrelevant, because you morally felt that you did wrong… I suppose the problem is that because you were health secretary and because at that time I couldn’t visit Derek in hospital, he couldn’t see his kids, thousands of others couldn’t go and see the people they loved for various reasons because they were following the guidelines.’
Garraway stressed that it was ‘all muddle’ for many people ‘out here in the world’ when it came to the social distancing guidelines.
‘It gives the impression that you still don’t get why they’re cross. You still don’t get why people are upset, because that amount of money is vast to everybody,’ she said.
The broadcaster added that while some celebrities might have received similar fees for I’m A Celebrity, members of the public are ‘holding [Hancock] to more account’ because of the role he played in government during the pandemic.
The interviewee admitted that he could understand Garraway’s line of questioning, in regard to the notion that people were upset.
It was recently revealed that he had received a fee of £320,000 for I’m A Celebrity, donating just £10,000 of it to charity, while insisting that he didn’t ‘primarily’ do the show for money.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.
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