Edwina Currie criticised for calling for public to sympathise with ministers over crisis handling

Edwina Currie on Good Morning Britain. Photograph: ITV.

Edwina Currie on Good Morning Britain. Photograph: ITV. - Credit: Archant

Former Tory minister Edwina Currie has urged the public to 'put ourselves in the shoes of ministers', insisting they have only had a matter of months to prepare for a crisis.

Currie appeared on Good Morning Britain to insist that the government's messaging over coronavirus had been 'clear', claiming that the important aspect of the response was the public were 'acting as adults'.

Reiterating Boris Johnson's talk of 'common sense', she told presenters Adil Ray and Kate Garraway: 'Most important, this government is treating us like intelligent human beings'.

But when she was asked about the confusion about the government's coronavirus advice, she admitted there was work to be done.

She explained: 'If it's a clear message, it can be conveyed in just a couple of paragraphs, it's not that difficult. That's what I did all those years ago, I stood up and said eggs are a problem, and you all heard me, and you all took notice except my colleagues in notice'.

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The former health minister, who used to be a teacher, started wagging her finger at the presenter when she was asked about the A-Levels fiasco.

She called on the public to show sympathy with ministers overs it handling of the various events since it came to power.

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She explained: 'It's not the easiest circumstance, we should all put ourselves in the shoes of ministers, remember it's a new government it was only elected in December.

'What a business to get into three months into being elected, new government ministers, new MPs, I think they are doing their best, it isn't always brilliant, but they're doing a good job.

'But it relies heavily on all of us - 65 million of us - using our brains and using our common sense. Don't do anything stupid. If you're obese, get that weight off. Actually do something about it, make good use of that time.'

Asked about whether Gavin Williamson should resign, similar to when she had to resign over her remarks, she simply responded: 'I'm not going to give you an answer to that, that's not my job, that's way above my pay grade'.

Currie's name trended on Twitter after viewers reacted to her comments.

'Oh dear Edwina Currie is very rancid. Saying we should be sympathetic ministers with the A-level scandal. Sod off Edwina,' tweeted @cathsard.

'If you aren't leading us what's the point of having you in charge? Lets get rid and all do our own thing,' asked another.

'Poor Edwina seems a bit confused,' said @seshort. 'We don't have a new government as she claimed, we have a continuation of the one that's been running the country (into the ground) for the past 10 years.'

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