Piers Morgan has questioned why Covid-19 restrictions should be lifted for Christmas when the same was not done for other religious festivals that have fallen during the pandemic.
The Good Morning Britain host exclaimed the ‘entire health of the nation’ should not rest on whether we can ‘gorge together on turkey for a couple of days’ over the Christmas period.
He spoke on Wednesday morning’s edition of the ITV breakfast show insisting that we should ‘all be in this together or not’.
Piers was reacting to the news that the government is considering allowing ‘five days of indoor household mixing‘ so families in the UK can ‘celebrate’ Christmas without breaking the law.
However, last weekend saw the cancellation of almost all normal festivities to celebrate Diwali. Instead, it was celebrated virtually via video streams.
Speaking to the BBC about Diwali, Rishi Sunak – himself a practicing Hindu – said: “For us as Hindus, Diwali is special, and it’s going to be difficult this year.”
He added: “But we’ve got Zoom, we’ve got the phone, and most importantly, we’ve got each other. Whether you can see someone or not the bond of family, that bond of love is always going to be there.”
Before explaining that ‘happy times’ will follow afterwards, and ‘to keep everyone safe right now, just follow the rules’.
In July, last-minute lockdown rules were put in place to ban the mixing of separate households in Northern England to help combat a spike in Covid-19 at the time. The news fell two hours before Eid celebrations began.
Speaking at the time to the BBC, Qari Asim, a senior Imam in Leeds, urged people to stay safe before explaining that: “BAME communities have been disproportionately affected during Covid-19 and therefore we need to take extra precautionary measures.
“There has been a sense of deflation and disappointment as restrictions have been placed on Hajj for the first time in such a manner. But we are not alone. Other faith communities have had to make sacrifices. We hope these spiritual sacrifices will enable us all to defeat Covid-19 together.”
At the time, Matt Hancock denied that the new restrictions were aimed at curtailing Eid celebrations.
Nevertheless, Piers Morgan pointed out on GMB this morning: “Why should Christians get it easier?
“Seriously, why should we? Why should we be the ones that have to have our festival saved when we didn’t do that for other religious festivals in the last few weeks?”
Morgan added: “We’re all in this together, or we’re not.
“I don’t think the entire health of the nation should rest on whether we can gorge together on turkey for a couple of days. Because personally, I think we have to be slightly selfless about this.”
Prime minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said: “We are looking at ways to ensure that people can spend time with close family over Christmas at the end of what there’s been an incredibly difficult year.”
The Chase welcomes former contestant as brand new Chaser ‘The Menace’
There’s a brand new Chaser in town named ‘The Menace’ ready to battle with contestants.
Irish genius, Darragh Ennis is a neuroscientist who first appeared on the show in 2017 where he played against Paul and performed incredibly.
He won a whopping amount of money that was dramatically decreased by the other contestants on the episode.
The brainbox will be joining Jenny ‘The Vixen’ Ryan, Shaun ‘The Dark Destroyer’ Wallace, Mark ‘The Beast’ Labbett, Anne ‘The Governess’ Hegerty and Paul ‘The Sinnerman’ Sinha and will be called ‘The Menace’
Darragh said: “I’m so pleased to be the sixth Chaser. It’s brilliant to be on such an amazing quiz team, and so much fun working with Bradley Walsh.
“It’s such an exciting opportunity and I can’t wait to take on more contestants!”
Host Bradley Walsh joked: “Another Chaser? ANOTHER CHASER? That’s another person cleverer than me on The Chase. I must have words with the producers.
“But I can’t wait to educate Darragh on the important things in life; custard creams, cowboy films and real ale.”
Fans are delighted Darragh will become the sixth Chaser and that no one is leaving.
One wrote: “Exciting but reallyyyy strange seeing a new Chaser in the chair!”
While another added: “I know! I know I’m late and feck me, it’s the newbie!!! About time!! #TheChase “
He’s already had his first stab of the show but it didn’t go too well as the first player beat him.
What do you make of the newbie?
Dr Hilary explains the devastating impact celebrating Christmas could have in ‘impassioned speech’
Is it really worth it?
Dr Hilary Jones shares what he thinks of the potential five-day easing of lockdown to allow for Christmas celebrations.
He delivered what is being described as an ‘impassioned’ speech detailing why the country should forego Christmas this year.
Addressing the reports of a 25-day lockdown for a five-day easing of lockdown at Christmas, he said: “Estimates, of course. It is based on the fact that if you have so many households coming together, the prevalence of the disease already would mean more ( coronavirus ) cases.
“You are going to transmit the virus to more households and more people. This would inevitably lead to more hospitalisations.
“Every day, they have calculated, would require five extra days of toughened restrictions and measures.
“So five days of Christmas festivities means 25 days of lockdown. It all has to be balanced – think of the economy, and what that does to people’s mental health.
“They talk about balance of risk all the time and that is exactly what it is.
“Piers pointed out yesterday how other religious groups had had to forego their festivities. They have made that sacrifice. One has to question whether five days at Christmas, to have those parties, that roast turkey, really warrants shutting down the country.
“That is a question the government has to ask.”
Ben Shephard replied: “We do not know, do we Hilary? We do not know yet the effectiveness of this lockdown because of the lag.
“We can see the new infections and cases flatlining – they are NOT increasing. But we are two or three weeks behind in terms of the data.”
What do you think?
This Morning viewers in tears after lonely pensioner rings in just for a chat
This Morning viewers were left in tears earlier today after a lonely pensioner made a heartbreaking call to the programme.
The 87-year-old phoned into the show for a chat, telling the presenters that nobody had visited her since the start of the first lockdown in March.
Margaret revealed that she had left hospital just the day before lockdown back in March, and that she’s been on her own since then.
She explained: “There’s only eight houses in my little area and not one neighbour’s come to see me.”
Margaret said she was ‘delighted’ to chat to someone when she managed to speak to Phillip Schofield, Alison Hammond and their guest Brian Conley this morning, adding that she ended up in hospital just before lockdown.
She said: “I got home the day before lockdown and I’ve been on my own ever since. I’ve never seen anyone since I came home, since March.
“I live in a very lonely area. There’s only eight houses in my little area and not one neighbour’s come to see me.
“Things aren’t sociable the way they were when we were young.”
Viewers were heartbroken by her incredibly sad story, with one tweeting: “I’m sat here in tears for Margaret. I so wish I lived nearby.
“I know she is probably not the only elder that has had no contact and it’s truly heartbreaking.”
Another added: “Margaret has got me in tears. How are we failing people like this. No one should be on there [sic] own like that.
“Say hello, how are you. Learn people’s names. Go back to childhood methods of being friendly.”
Phil urged her to reach out to someone, saying: “You’re only 87, there’s still a lot to do. The most important thing is that you reach out. If they don’t reach out to you, you reach out to your friends.”