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Ben Shephard criticises government for being too ‘busy’ for GMB interview amid recession forecast

The Independent
The Independent
 2022-08-05

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Ben Shephard has criticised the government for refusing to send a minister to appear on Good Morning Britain amid warnings of a year-long recession hitting this autumn .

On Thursday (4 August), the Bank of England warned that the UK will soon enter a recession causing the deepest fall in living standards on record.

Real household incomes are expected to decline by an average of five per cent over two years, marking the deepest fall since records began in 1960.

During Friday (5 August) morning’s episode of GMB , host Shephard said that, while they had asked for a Conservative minister to appear on the show as they were being criticised for “being absent in a time of crisis”, they had not.

Showing an empty chair sat against a Westminster backdrop, he said: “We did invite a minister onto the show. Despite what we’ve just heard… they didn’t want to turn up. They haven’t got time for us in their busy schedule.”

“If there [are] any ministers out there that would be willing to answer some of those questions… it would be nice to have a minister come in to join us and answer some of those questions. Maybe put our minds at rest or maybe offer us some sort of hope.”

Shephard added: “If they don’t come in, we can’t see that, can we?”

His co-host Charlotte Hawkins said: “An empty chair in Westminster, it’s ready and waiting... We are ready when you are.”

The recession will likely cause problems for the winner of the Tory leadership contest as they replace Boris Johnson as prime minister.

Liz Truss has pledged to slash taxes by billions in a bid to win over Conservative Party members, while Rishi Sunak has attacked the plan as being fiscally irresponsible.

Neither candidate has laid out detailed plans for how they would support families struggling through a rapidly worsening cost of living crisis.

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