Alastair Campbell and Susanna Reid made a dig at Transport Secretary Grant Shapps for failing to appear on Good Morning Britain amid the HGV driver crisis, while blasting the fact that no government ministers could be interviewed on the ITV programme.
It has been said by experts that there is currently a shortage of around 100,000 HGV drivers, which could continue to impact the country throughout winter.
The shortage has been caused as a result of several factors, including Covid-19, Brexit and systemic problems that have been affecting lorry drivers for several years.
On Monday’s edition of GMB, Alastair and Susanna opened their segment of the show by confirming that they did not have a minister from the government on the show.
After emphasising the importance of open communication between the government and members of the public, later on during the programme, the co-presenters made a direct quip about Shapps being a no-show.
Alastair and Susanna welcomed former MP Anna Soubry and Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen for a virtual interview to discuss whether Brexit is to blame for the ongoing crisis.
After speaking to the pair, Susanna stated: ‘We’d like to put that to Grant Shapps, but unfortunately we don’t have a government official.’
Alastair then chimed in to say: ‘Yep, we don’t have a government minister. Andrew Bridgen was the best we could do.’
Susanna guffawed over Alastair’s remark, implying that she thought her co-host was insulting their guest.
Nonetheless, Alastair insisted that he meant his remark ‘most sincerely’.
At the beginning of the programme, Alastair spoke about his former work within the government, stating that as someone who ‘worked in government communications for quite a long time’, he believes it is of the utmost importance that ministers communicate properly, especially at difficult times.
‘I think government communication is important at any time and the messaging between government and public, but when things are a bit heated and people are starting to worry about all sorts of things, then I think it’s never more important than then,’ he said.
‘So I find it extraordinary that they don’t put up ministers to be challenged and to debate, especially as Parliament’s not sitting.’
Susanna explained that it’s apparently convention during Party conferences for ministers not to do interviews, although Alastair said he wasn’t ‘buying that’.
However, they both agreed that when ministers tweeted that people shouldn’t panic over not being able to obtain fuel, it wasn’t a ‘good move’.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.
Credit: Original article published here.