BBC Breakfast host Naga Munchetty’s fiery interview with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has split viewers online.
The Conservative MP was appearing on the show today (April 9) to discuss the new traffic light system for tourist to travel abroad.
Under the plan, countries will be placed in a green, amber, or red category. Tourists will have to pay £120 for at least one PCR test, with the numbers increasing depending on which “traffic light” their destination is placed in.
Naga pressed Mr Shapps about what he thought was a reasonable price throughout the interview but was left wanting with his answers.
As the MP spoke about “pre-departure tests”, the BBC presenter interrupted to add: “Indeed, I will push you on this but what do you think is a reasonable cost for this?”
“I wish there wasn’t any cost at all,” Mr Shapps replied before Naga immediately fired back: “But there is, isn’t there? That’s the nature of the pandemic.”
As it came to a close, the MP was asked if people need to worry about chasing a refund with regards to the cost and replied: “We haven’t published which countries are in each category yet as we’re still too far away and as you know coronavirus changes all the time…”
Naga then quickly intervened saying: “Okay, so keep waiting.. I’m very mindful of time sorry Grant Shapps.”
The tense interview split opinion among viewers, with some criticizing Naga’s questioning while others praised her for trying to get an answer.
“Just turned on BBC Breakfast for a minute,” one wrote. “Not watched it for ages. Naga is aggressive. Grant being very clear and reasonable. Why be so aggressive?”
Another replied: “For once I am not liking Naga's constant interrupting of Grant Shapps. The general message is do not travel abroad, but if you really have to – you pay the price of tests when you come back #bbcbreakfast Why should tax payers fund holiday tests?”
A third added: “Naga Munchetty has just spent the whole of her interview with Grant Shapps interrupting him. It is so rude and off putting for the viewers. We can’t get the jist of what he is trying to tell us. Pointless interview.”
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“Gosh, Government representatives have to talk faster and faster to try keep Naga Munchetty’s interruptions at bay,” a third said. “It makes for a meaningless exchange.”
But, as many others pointed out, the PCR costs will prove hugely important for struggling families and said the presenter’s questioning was justified.
“Go for it Naga, well done,” one wrote.
Another commented: “Thank you Naga for asking what we all want to know.”
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