Piers Morgan has torn into the government over plans to reinstate parking charges for NHS staff members at the hospitals they work in.
On Wednesday morning’s edition of Good Morning Britain, Piers and Susanna Reid addressed the recent comments from health minister Edward Argar, who said that funding to cover NHS staff’s parking “cannot continue indefinitely”.
Arga said: “The provision of free parking for NHS staff by NHS Trusts has not ended and nothing has changed since the announcement on 25 March.
“However, free parking for staff has only been made possible by support from local authorities and independent providers and this support cannot continue indefinitely.”
Responding on GMB, Piers began: “It seems to me utterly ridiculous that doctors and nurses and surgeons and everybody else in the healthcare system have to pay for the privilege of going to hospitals to save our lives.
“This struck me as completely ridiculous, and particularly obscene when [...] a global pandemic strikes this country, and they’re risking their own lives.”
He continued: “We know that several hundred NHS workers have died risking their lives for us. So what’s their reward? We get to July, and the first wave appears to have, thankfully, calmed down, and their reward is [the government is] now going to start charging… all the people who are working in our health system for parking again at hospitals.
“So, you’re not only going to risk your life, and there may be another wave coming, and we don’t know – not only do you risk your life, you have to pay for the privilege of risking your life… [it’s] utterly disgusting.
“I wonder how many times Edward Argar went and clapped the NHS,” Piers added. “We had all those videos of Matt Hancock [applauding], Boris Johnson… and this is how they reward them. Isn’t it extraordinary? First thing we’re going to do to reward you is to make you pay to park at hospitals again.”
The subject of NHS staff’s parking is one that Piers was particularly passionate about when the pandemic first hit the UK, even going as far as to offer to pay any fines that hospital workers accrue during the pandemic.
“I will say now, to any health worker during the future of this crisis, however long it lasts, if any of you get a parking ticket, at a hospital where you’re working, I will pay it for you,” he said.
“I will pay it, and I will then go to the government, and have the battle, and you don’t get involved. Send it in to Good Morning Britain, and I will pay the parking ticket. If that’s what it takes.”
Good Morning Britain airs every weekday from 6am on ITV.