Minister challenged to appear on Good Morning Britain after defending free press against protesters

Kit Malthouse in the House of Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV.

Kit Malthouse in the House of Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV. - Credit: Archant

A minister has been challenged to appear on Good Morning Britain after he and colleagues defended a free press against protesters despite a boycott of the programme.

Breakfast show presenter Piers Morgan branded Boris Johnson and his ministers 'gutless weasels' for avoiding the programme for avoiding more than 130 days.Ministers had spent the weekend defending the free press against Extinction Rebellion protesters, but were accused of hypocrisy for boycotting shows like GMB.It prompted a politician to challenge a government minister in the House of Commons to appear on the programme.Alastair Carmichael also criticised the Tories for excluding journalists from a number of key Downing Street briefings as the coronavirus pandemic started to take hold.He asked police minister Malthouse: 'As he says, the freedom of our press to scrutinise our institutions is indispensable. With that in mind, and perhaps with the benefit of hindsight, I wonder whether he would agree that it was somewhat ill-advised of the government in February to exclude a number of media outlets, including the Daily Mirror, The Independent and HuffPost, from government briefings. Can he tell us whether we would expect to see him accepting an invitation to appear on Good Morning Britain any time soon?Malthouse, however, told him that he was waiting for actions from his 'superiors'.But he simply responded: 'I know my place, and I will be deployed at the behest and instruction of my superiors to perform on screen, in the press or on the radio — wherever is required. I hope that, over quite a long career in politics — local, regional and national — I have never shied away from a challenge and my view is, 'If you are not willing to go out to defend a policy, why are you putting it in place in the first place?''

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