The Shadow Health Secretary appeared on ITV Good Morning Britain with a 1965 newspaper clipping framed behind him with the headline “Labour clears up the mess those Tories left behind. 1965 and Britain goes ahead”, as he lambasted the Government for its response to the coronavirus crisis. The move did not go unnoticed by GMB viewers who branded the Labour MP “pathetic”.
One viewer wrote on Twitter: “Jon Ashworth yet again making political points on the back of a deadly virus.”
And another: “Wow. Jon Ashworth just said sorting the help for self-employed out is ‘easy’. Up to now, nobody has used #COVID19 as a political football more than him. He’s an absolute disgrace.”
Many others pointed out the framed picture behind him.
One user wrote: “Strategically placed framed picture…poor show. This is no time for party politics, Jon Ashworth.”
And another: “How pathetic of Jon Ashworth doing his GMB interview sat in front of a framed shitty article, lambasting the Tories. Really Jonathan, this is NOT the time to have a party political dig!! Tosser!”
The Labour MP also appeared on Sky News in an interview with Kay Burley showing off a better view of the newspaper clippings.
Mr Ashworth criticised the Government’s lack of financial support yet to be announced for self-employed people in the UK.
He also claimed those applying for Universal Credit to cope with the coronavirus crisis should not be waiting five weeks to get financial help.
It comes as more than 500,000 people in just over 24 hours have signed up to help the NHS as volunteers during the coronavirus crisis.
The NHS and the Prime Minister have thanked those who have offered to help some of the most vulnerable people in the community.
Speaking at Wednesday’s daily press conference at Number 10, Boris Johnson said he wanted to offer a “special thank you to everyone who has now volunteered to help the NHS”.
“When we launched the appeal last night, we hoped to get 250,000 volunteers over a few days.”
On Thursday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: “NEWS: Fantastic that 560,000 people have now responded to our call to volunteer to support our NHS to defeat #Coronavirus.”
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The mass sign-up follows Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s request for a quarter-of-a-million people to donate their time to help the 1.5 million people isolating for 12 weeks in an attempt to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Mr Johnson said the volunteers would be “absolutely crucial” in the fight against the illness.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “We are truly amazed by the number of people who want to come and help us in the war against coronavirus.
“I would like to thank every last one of you who are offering your time – you will without a doubt help us to save lives.
“Our NHS needs you – whether it’s by volunteering or simply staying at home – you are helping your families, communities and protecting our NHS.”
Anyone who is over the age of 18, fit and healthy and non-symptomatic can offer their time to the scheme.
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