Published: 15:13, 16 April 2020
| Updated: 15:37, 16 April 2020
Hundreds of complaints have been lodged with Ofcom in the wake of care minister Helen Whately’s controversial interview with Piers Morgan.
The Kent MP was questioned on claims as many as 4,000 people have died of coronavirus in care homes during an appearance on Good Morning Britain yesterday, when the outspoken host accused her of laughing.
However, Ofcom has confirmed that it has received 643 complaints about Morgan’s treatment of the politician.
This prompted the broadcaster to sarcastically tell his 7.3 million Twitter followers to visit the television regulator’s website if they objected to his conduct.
“If you’re upset by the ‘bullying’ way I’ve been challenging poor Govt ministers on @GMB, you can complain to @Ofcom,” he wrote.
“Just click on the link in their bio and you will find information on how to whine about me.
“In the meantime, I’ll keep challenging Govt ministers.”
Reacting to another tweet about the interview, he added: “Awwww.... diddums.
“Where do I send my complaint about obfuscating, disingenuous, smirking, poorly-prepared ministers refusing to answer very important questions during a national crisis?”
The controversy erupted after Morgan held up the front page of the Daily Mail, headlined “4,000 feared dead in our care homes”, for Ms Whately to see.
But as she said was unable to see the paper, she appeared to laugh.
Responding to this, Morgan said: “I’m showing viewers the Daily Mail front page.
“I don’t know why you’re laughing. Why are you laughing?”
After the broadcaster told her it says 4,000 people may have died in care homes, the Tory responded: “My reaction just then was because you said you’d show me something, but I’ve been asked to set up the camera so I’m looking into it, so I can’t see what you are doing.”
But when the journalist pressed Ms Whately on whether the figures quoted by the Daily Mail were correct, she tried to avoid answering the question.
And after she appeared to laugh again, Morgan asked: “I literally just asked you is it true that 4,000 elderly people have died in hospital, and all you can do is laugh? What’s the matter with you?”
Ms Whately responded: “I’m not laughing. Please don’t suggest for a minute that I’m laughing because it does feel like you’re shouting at me.”
“We literally just saw you laughing,” Morgan said.
KentOnline has approached Ms Whateley for comment on the Ofcom complaints.