Piers Morgan hit with death threats for slamming government as petition for his sacking gets 50k signatures
Piers Morgan has revealed that he has been sent death threats over his criticism of the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid an online petition that was started to have Morgan removed from the ITV breakfast show, the TV presenter has also received abuse and threats.
However, the 55-year-old ‘Good Morning Britain’ host has hit back at the haters claiming the threats were only encouraging him to confront ministers “louder and harder”. Swearing to continue on with his critiques, Morgan tweeted on Sunday, May 17: “Memo to trolls: the more you try to silence me with foul-mouthed abuse, death threats & petitions for me to be fired, the louder & harder I will challenge the Govt over its handling of this crisis. Lives depend on it.”
Not only this, as the debate escalated on social media, Morgan publicly blocked a user who said, “Enjoy your big garden, sip the expensive wine and give us a day off." To which, the English broadcaster responded: “I'll give you a lifetime off, relax. BLOCKED."
Morgan resumed his criticism of the British government on Monday, May 18, on the morning show as he accused ministers of making false claims that the government was “ramping up” coronavirus testing. During the show, he also pointed out that the latest figure was showing just over 76,000 people were tested on May 16, only a small increase in daily figures seen at the end of April. “The number of people tested has barely moved. There’s no evidence of ramping up going whatsoever. If we don’t get to significantly higher levels of people tested. There’s no ramping up going … I would argue, and they shouldn’t be pretending there is,” Morgan said.
The journalist, who has repeatedly challenged ministers since the start of the pandemic, also criticized the government for banning leaders from appearing on his morning TV program. “This will be the 20th day of its boycott of our show during the worst national crisis since WW2. All because we asked them tough questions. We’ll keep asking them,” Morgan added. This comes after Morgan deemed the UK Prime Minister as “coward” and said he has “has banned any ministers” from appearing on his show. In a May 7 tweet, he wrote: “The UK Govt has banned any ministers from appearing on @GMB after a series of them made complete fools of themselves in the face of basic and important questions. This is a pathetic and cowardly response to THEIR shameful incompetence” as he tagged Boris Johnson and 10 Dowing Street in the tweet.
In recent weeks, thousands of people have complained about Morgan to the press regulator Ofcom for his interview style. His treatment of care minister Helen Whately and health secretary Matt Hancock was not taken well by many people. Though Morgan claimed he was just holding the care minister "to account,” several viewers argued that it was more like “bullying”. However, despite several complaints, Ofcom said Morgan would not be investigated as it claimed he is "well known for his combative interviewing style” and “his guests were given adequate opportunity to put their points across and counter the presenter's criticisms”.
“In Ofcom's view, in line with freedom of expression, it is clearly in the public interest that broadcasters are able to hold those making political decisions to account, particularly during a major national crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic,” the statement from the watchdog added.