Piers Morgan gets Gavin Williamson to admit he 'deeply regrets' government breaking law after demanding apology 11 times
GAVIN Williamson admitted on GMB today that he "deeply regrets" the government breaking the law over PPE contracts – after refusing to apologise 11 times.
The Education Secretary caved in after repeatedly swerving an opportunity to say sorry to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid over last week's court ruling.
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The High Court found the Government acted unlawfully by failing to publish details of billions of pounds' worth of contracts for vital PPE needed during the Covid pandemic.
Following their heated six-minute exchange this morning, Piers thanked Mr Williamson for "finally" saying he regretted the government's actions.
It comes after Piers blasted Matt Hancock in an explosive clash yesterday, where the Health Secretary refused to say sorry and insisted his team should be thanked.
Confronting Mr Williamson this morning, Piers accused the government of "brazenly" breaking the law.
Grilling the Education Secretary, he asked: "Do you accept it was wrong for the government to behave unlawfully and should any of you apologise for that?
"And if not why should any of the public obey any of the laws in the pandemic?"
Mr Williamson replied: "The government always aims to abide exactly by the law, and I have no doubt the Department of Health will be following the judgement and making available any information that is required of it."
But Piers hit back, saying: "But they were found guilty of unlawful conduct and my point is at the moment no-one has said: "We are sorry, we shouldn't have done that".
"And if you don't, why should anyone else in the country obey any of the laws in the pandemic?"
I am really struggling as to why none of you are prepared to say sorry
Evading the question, Mr Williamson claimed the government "always abides and obviously upholds the law".
To which Susanna jumped in, pointing out: "It doesn't always do that".
But the Education Secretary avoided apologising again, with Piers once more saying "I am really struggling as to why none of you are prepared to say sorry".
Mr Williamson ducked an apology once more, and said "we have got to take action" before Piers interrupted and demanded "are you sorry you acted unlawfully – yes or no".
The Education Secretary repeated again that "the government would never aim to act unlawfully".
But Piers once more jumped in and said "are you sorry?" before slapping the Education Secretary down, raging: "Why do you guys find it so hard just to say we were found guilty of unlawful conduct, we are very sorry?"
Mr Willamson, sounded rattled, replied: "You had Matt all day yesterday Piers I thought you would have brought it up with him.
"With the best will in the world I'm very much focused on getting children back into school.
"I was going to leave Matt's legal disputes to himself."
But Piers refused to let the matter lie, and said "there is no apology, I simply ask you, as a member of the government….do you regret the unlawful conduct – yes or no?"
Mr Williamson responded to say "the government always regrets when it has been found not to be in compliance with the law".
Piers asked again: "Now that you have been found guilty of unlawful conduct you are sorry on behalf of the government?"
Mr Williamson simply repeated that the government would "always regret" unlawful conduct.
Piers then said: "I simply give you one more opportunity on behalf of the government to say to the British people ….are you prepared to say, 'I'm sorry,we acted unlawfully?'"
After Mr Williamson said the "government never wants to be in that place" he defended Mr Hancock's "amazing" vaccine progress as Piers slammed the Health Secretary.
Piers said: "Just to cut to the quick – you're sorry?"
After Mr Williamson replied AGAIN that the government "always regret" such legal issues, Piers asked once more: "So you're sorry".
Finally, the Education Secretary replied: "Deeply regret it, yes."
To which Piers replied: "Thank you, thank you, Education Secretary. Finally, a member of the government regrets that the government broke the law.
"It took us about six minutes, but we got there."
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