Iain Duncan Smith fumes on live TV after being told government had time to prepare for coronavirus outbreak

Iain Duncan Smith appears on Sky News to talk about the Sunday Times report on the coronavirus. Phot

Iain Duncan Smith appears on Sky News to talk about the Sunday Times report on the coronavirus. Photograph: Sky News. - Credit: Archant

Iain Duncan Smith was left fuming in a live television after a presenter refused to accept blaming China as an explanation for the government's slow response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Iain Duncan Smith appears on Sky News to talk about the Sunday Times report on the coronavirus. Phot

Iain Duncan Smith appears on Sky News to talk about the Sunday Times report on the coronavirus. Photograph: Sky News. - Credit: Archant

The Tory Brexiteer entered into a war of words with a Sky News presenter after he was questioned about the Sunday Times report which explained how Boris Johnson acted on Covid-19 too late.

Duncan Smith used his time on the airwaves to once more blame China for the mistakes made, rather than the party in government which he once led.

He also attempted to dismiss the newspaper report, blaming a 'disgruntled' Downing Street adviser.

'I would advise caution on this news story. We have to get this into context.

'The world did not realise the extent of the pandemic in China because it is quite clear now that China suppressed and hid information for whatever reason.'


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'WHO [World Health Organisation], which has serious questions to answer, did not tell the rest of the world that this was a pandemic that was more than likely to spread.'

It led presenter Gamal Fahnbulleh to interject to challenge his assertion, only for Iain Duncan Smith to become angry by the scrutiny and the interruption.

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'Wait wait, can I just finish this point?' asked Duncan-Smith, as he held his hand up to the camera.


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As Fahnbulleh reminded the Tory MP that he was the person who asks the questions, the former Conservative leader continued: 'No, you ask the questions. Let me finish my point! You've asked me a question, let me swiftly answer.'

Calling out the politician, he told Duncan Smith: 'The WHO did tell the world about the threat in January. What you said is not true, is it?'

But the MP continued to insist that his point was correct. 'That is wrong. The reality is the WHO did not interrogate China as they should have done about the realise of the data and most of the world in the West believed that this was under control in China.'

He claimed that those leaking Downing Street business to the Sunday Times were 'disgruntled', and now is not the time to question the government over its handling of the crisis.

'The point I was trying to make before you interrupted me is that this is a process the government is trying desperately to get on top of. There are questions that will be asked but later on, not now.

'We have no idea who is leaking this information whether they are disgruntled or not, we don't know. Ask the questions once we are on top of this process, and we have the country back up and running.'

He added that it was 'normal' for the prime minister to miss Cobra meetings, and that it was left for ministers to take charge.

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Viewers were impressed with the presenter's attempts to hold the Tory to account, as Iain Duncan Smith's name started to trend on Twitter.

'Big up to Sky News not letting Iain Duncan Smith get away with the usual nonsense,' said one.

'The arrogant, dim witted, Iain Duncan Smith slavishly defending the cack-handed, lazy, holiday loving prime minister in the face of Britain's greatest 21st century crisis,' wrote Otto English.

'It's a shame it took a global pandemic for the media to finally hold risible dimwits like Iain Duncan Smith to account but better late than never, I guess,' wrote Graham Lithgow.

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