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'Stop being irritating': Piers Morgan feuds with Peter Hitchens over 'disproportionate' Covid-19 lockdown measures

'Stop being irritating': Piers Morgan feuds with Peter Hitchens over 'disproportionate' Covid-19 lockdown measures
Piers Morgan and Peter Hitchens have clashed in a fiery exchange of words during a live debate, after the journalist argued that the UK government's lockdown restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic was excessive.

During a live TV debate on Covid-19 with two other guests, Hitchens claimed that the government and police response to the pandemic had been "disproportionate" and "driven by hysteria." The UK is currently on lockdown with all but essential travel banned.

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The Mail on Sunday columnist — not allowing the frustrated TV presenter to interrupt him — insisted that such draconian measures would lead to "colossal""economic damage." In full flow, he argued that there was alternative scientific research that goes against the UK government's tough stance.

An infuriated Morgan snapped at Hitchens: "Peter, can you stop being irritating for the sake of it, it's pointless."

The intervention ostensibly failed to stop the journalist in his tracks leading to Morgan completely losing it and shouting: "Stop talking, Peter!"

The Good Morning Britain co-host later told Hitchens that he was talking "nonsense" after the latter compared coronavirus to the common seasonal flu.

The pair's feud continued on social media, with Hithens complaining that he had been a "target rather than a guest" for merely holding "another point of view." Morgan denied the accusation, firing back that "playing the woe-is-me victim" didn't suit Hitchens.

Former UK Supreme Court judge, Lord Sumption — who was name-checked by Hitchens — has suggested the government had lurched into authoritarianism, remarking: "This is what a police state is like." He singled out Derbyshire police force who he claimed had "shamed our policing traditions."

Many police forces up and down Britain have been seen enforcing the new lockdown rules in an uncompromising manner. Last week, Derbyshire police were widely criticized for "shaming" dog walkers out in the wilderness of the Peak District countryside, using a drone to film their movements.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a nationwide lockdown on March 23, telling the public to stay at home and banning groups of more than two. People could be fined up to £30 for meeting in groups without a valid reason.

He demanded citizens stay at home or face getting arrested. "If you don't follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce," the PM warned.

The latest official UK figures show that 22,141 have tested positive for the coronavirus infection, resulting in 1,408 deaths so far.

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