Susanna Reid has taken on the home secretary over the government’s attempts to blame the public for a rise in cases of coronavirus over Christmas.
The Good Morning Britain host saw red after hearing Priti Patel claimed the government had discouraged mixing over the festive period.
Co-presenter Piers Morgan kicked off the debate by telling the minister: “Many people believe that the right thing to do, given the scale and speed of this new variant, would have been to order the country into a new lockdown of the kind we are now in.
“And the failure to do that and to allow families to meet at Christmas has been a catastrophic mistake, and that’s the point”.
“Well, we don’t know that,” claimed Patel. “And we had said repeatedly in the run-up to that Christmas period to reduce Christmas contact, to have very restrictive Christmases, we were not telling people to get together in mass gatherings.”
“But you weren’t telling people they couldn’t,” pointed out Morgan.
“No we were telling people not to meet with wider family members,” responded Patel.
Reid angrily pointed out Patel’s attempts to gaslight the nation. She said: “It’s exactly what we knew you were going to do back in December.
“You were going to allow people to do it, allow people to mix and in January you were going to blame people who did – who knew it was legitimate under the rules – you were going to blame them for what then happened.
“Even though it was in the government’s control to change that”.
The home secretary insisted the “government is not blaming anybody” for the rise in infections, but viewers had already decided who had won the debate.
“We’re only 20 days into 2021 but Susanna Reid take down of bully Pritel has to be TV moment of the year?” commented one.
“Thanks Piers and Susanna. That was like watching Bonnie and Clyde in action. Good journalism pushing for the truth,” said James Finlay.
“The usually mild-mannered Susanna Reid getting irritated by Priti Patel, we all feel the same,” added another.