Matt Hancock and Piers Morgan shared a furious exchange on Good Morning Britain today after the Health Secretary refused to commit to not taking a proposed MP pay rise.
Rishi Sunak is expected to impose a freeze on public sector pay to tackle the soaring scale of borrowing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Frontline workers including firefighters, hospital porters and teaching assistants could bear the brunt of the pay cuts, although doctors and nurses are expected to be exempted.
At the same time the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) released its plans to raise the wages of MPs by 4.1 per cent earlier this year.
The proposals would see all MPs receive a pay rise of £3,360, taking their salaries to £85,291.
Labour MP Rosena Allin-Khan said she would refuse the pay rise, saying: “Millions face job uncertainty and to give us MPs a payrise now just sends the wrong message and highlights the economic divide in our country.”
But pressed on the issue by Morgan on GMB today Hancock refused to make the same commitment.
Watch the furious exchange below:
‘I ask you one last time to say ‘I Matt Hancock do not want a penny extra’.’ – @piersmorgan— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) November 23, 2020
Health Secretary Matt Hancock says in the past he has not taken pay rises but says he will wait for the independent body on MPs pay’s ruling before committing. pic.twitter.com/IMISUguveC
Related: Sunak told not to ‘grind frontline workers down’ after a decade of pay austerity