Piers Morgan has slammed a cabinet minister after she tried to downplay concerns of hardship disadvantaged families face during the coronavirus crisis on Twitter.
The Good Morning Britain presenter called Therese Coffey’s tweet describing that underprivileged families would not lose their water supply if they were unable to pay their bills as ‘heartless’.
The work and pensions minister was responding to a tweet from Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford calling on the government to reserve a decision to end free school lunches during the summer holidays.
‘When you wake up this morning and run your shower, take a second to think about parents who have had their water turned off during lockdown,’ he said before pointing out that up to 200,000 children across the country will wake up to ’empty shelves’.
Coffey replied: ‘Water cannot be disconnected though.’
Morgan blasted the ‘tone deaf’ response: ‘People wonder why we shout at these people. I would probably shout at her right now, if she was on, Therese Coffey – wouldn’t you?
‘That’s her response. One line. Unbelievable. The tone-deafness of that response just about epitomises this government – devoid of empathy.’
Rashford said he was ‘concerned’ the minister only managed to acknowledge one of several tweets he posted. ‘Please, put rivalries aside for a second,’ he said, ‘and make a difference #maketheuturn’.
Coffey’s response has sparked a wave of criticism on social media and a Twitter trend under the title ‘typical Tory’.
Ian Twinchett wrote: ‘This is incredible. A 22 year old footballer behaving with more professionalism than the entire government put together.’
Journalist Paul Waugh shared: ‘What about his main point, that families are already struggling and extending vouchers to cover the summer would show the govt is doing ‘whatever it takes’ to help those in real need in this pandemic?’
Meanwhile, Brian Moore questioned government thinking: ‘What sort of mindset must you have to be in favour of funding a new Royal Yacht but against funding free school meal vouchers for poor kids?’
Under UK law, water supply at a property cannot be disconnected, however, electricity and gas supplies used to heat water can be.
The government has said it has provided councils with up to £63 million in funds to help families struggling to buy essentials.