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Coronavirus UK: Piers Morgan gets all clear but stays off work

Piers Morgan has tested negative for coronavirus, but will stay off work while recovering from the symptoms that led to his test.

The GMB presenter, 55, missed today’s show after he revealed yesterday on social media that he had developed a ‘mild symptom’ and would be tested for Covid-19. 

However, taking to Twitter tonight, he confirmed he has been given the all clear. 

He said: ‘My COVID-19 test was negative. I was advised to take the test by my doctor after developing possible coronavirus symptoms, and was entitled to do so as a Govt-designated essential worker. 

‘I’ll be back on @GMB as soon as my doctor advises I’m OK to return to work.’

Earlier today, Health secretary Matt Hancock sent his well-wishes to Piers. 

Piers Morgan confirmed this evening that he has tested negative for coronavirus - but will stay off Good Morning Britain until he recovers from illness

Piers Morgan confirmed this evening that he has tested negative for coronavirus - but will stay off Good Morning Britain until he recovers from illness

Piers Morgan confirmed this evening that he has tested negative for coronavirus – but will stay off Good Morning Britain until he recovers from illness

Mr Hancock, who had his own battle with coronavirus and who has previously clashed with the GMB host on the ITV morning show, tweeted that he hoped if Mr Morgan did test positive for Covid-19 that the symptoms would be mild. 

Earlier this morning, the presenter’s co-host Susannah Reid, who was joined on the show by Tipping Point presenter Ben Shephard, sent her ‘very best wishes’ to Mr Morgan at the start of show.

She said: ‘We send our very best wishes to you Piers and promise to be on our best behaviour while you are not here.’

Speaking on this morning’s show, TV doctor Hilary Jones explained that Mr Morgan does not have symptoms consistent with Covid-19 but has taken a test and is remaining off the show as a precaution. 

Mr Morgan had previously announced on Twitter that he would not be on the show today after feeling unwell over the weekend.

Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid (pictured) are hosted Good Morning Britain today in Piers' absence

Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid (pictured) are hosted Good Morning Britain today in Piers' absence

Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid (pictured) are hosted Good Morning Britain today in Piers’ absence

The presenter (left with co-host Susanna Reid) has been one of the strongest voices holding the government to account throughout the crisis

The presenter (left with co-host Susanna Reid) has been one of the strongest voices holding the government to account throughout the crisis

The presenter (left with co-host Susanna Reid) has been one of the strongest voices holding the government to account throughout the crisis

He had been going into the west London studio every morning, doing his own make-up and sitting two metres away from co-host Susanna Reid.

Mr Morgan tweeted on Sunday night: ‘UPDATE: On medical advice, and out of an abundance of caution for a mild symptom that arose in past 48hrs, I’ve had a test for COVID-19 and so won’t be working on @GMB until I get the result back, which should be tomorrow.’ 

He received a number of messages of support on Twitter, including Mr Hancock.

Mr Hancock said: ‘Sorry to see Piers Morgan has symptoms of coronavirus.

‘If you test positive, I sincerely hope it’s mild. Get well soon.’

Mr Morgan’s scare comes after co-host Ms Reid self-isolated at her London home for two weeks in March following a member of her household developing symptoms of the bug.

Ben Shepard, Susanna Reid and doctor Hilary Jones discussed Mr Morgan's health on Good Morning Britain this morning

Ben Shepard, Susanna Reid and doctor Hilary Jones discussed Mr Morgan's health on Good Morning Britain this morning

Ben Shepard, Susanna Reid and doctor Hilary Jones discussed Mr Morgan’s health on Good Morning Britain this morning

Mr Morgan, who is usually on the show with Ms Reid from Monday to Wednesday, has been one of the strongest voices holding the government to account during the crisis.

Since the country was put in lockdown on March 23, he has become the interviewer ministers fear most due to his ruthless scrutinising of the facts.

He has spoken truth to power at every turn, including fiercely questioning decisions made by both the UK and US governments.

In an article for MailOnline on Thursday, the columnist branded Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s first press briefing back after beating Covid ‘complete and utter bullsh*t’.

He said Mr Johnson’s speech had made US President Donald Trump seem credible and that his Brexit strategy cannot be used to beat the virus.

Mr Morgan wrote: ‘When Boris fans, the vast majority of them with union jack flags and Brexit slogans in their profiles, scream abuse at me all day long on Twitter for challenging their hero’s coronavirus strategy, they do so because to them, any criticism of the government over this crisis is a re-run of the viciously toxic and partisan Brexit campaign.’

He added: ‘None of Boris Johnson’s political skills that won him the Referendum and December’s election are working like they did before the virus struck.’

The journalist pointed to a chart that was shown at the end of the briefing on the ‘Global Death Comparision’.

He spotted how it showed the UK was trending to be the second worst hit country in the world for Covid-19 deaths.

On Sunday the number of fatalities in Britain rose by 315 to 28,446, putting it on course to become the hardest hit in Europe.

Its toll is now 264 behind Italy – the continent’s original epicentre – which it will likely overtake tomorrow to suffer the second highest fatalities in the world after the US.

Mr Johnson was not the only world leader Mr Morgan has targeted, with him going toe-to-toe with President Trump over the US’s coronavirus strategy.

The presenter has repeatedly called out Mr Trump’s approach to the bug, which has rampaged across the US and killed more than 65,000 people.

The presenter has repeatedly called out Mr Trump's (pictured on Sunday) approach to the bug, which has rampaged across the US and killed more than 65,000 people

The presenter has repeatedly called out Mr Trump's (pictured on Sunday) approach to the bug, which has rampaged across the US and killed more than 65,000 people

The presenter has repeatedly called out Mr Trump’s (pictured on Sunday) approach to the bug, which has rampaged across the US and killed more than 65,000 people

This culminating in him saying Mr Trump was ‘batsh*t crazy’ for his handling of the crisis.

The US President faced widespread ridicule after he suggested tackling coronavirus with the use of ‘powerful’ UV light or even injecting patients with disinfectant. 

Starting his column by telling Mr Trump to ‘shut the f*** up’, Mr Morgan admonished the President for using his position to air the ‘batsh*t crazy theories’.

The presenter later announced Mr Trump had unfollowed him on Twitter.

Mr Morgan’s approach to politicians was vindicated last week when OFCOM  cleared him for his ‘combative’ style.

The GMB host attracted more than 3,000 complaints from two interviews with care minister Helen Whately on the show last month.

Almost 600 viewers also complained about another interview with Health Secretary Matt Hancock on April 16.

But Ofcom said: ‘It is clearly in the public interest that broadcasters are able to hold those making political decisions to account.’

Mr Morgan grilled Ms Whately about the number of NHS and care workers who have died from Covid-19 and accused her of ‘massively understating’ the effects of the virus.

In the interview Mrs Whately claimed 76 NHS and care workers had died from the disease, to which the host replied: ‘You see these numbers again, are completely wrong.

Care Minister Helen Whately (right) was on the receiving end of two of the journalist's (left) most memorable displays within the space of a week last month

Care Minister Helen Whately (right) was on the receiving end of two of the journalist's (left) most memorable displays within the space of a week last month

Care Minister Helen Whately (right) was on the receiving end of two of the journalist’s (left) most memorable displays within the space of a week last month

‘The real figure of all the people who work in the NHS and care homes who have died is actually 111.’

Mr Hancock was challenged by the MailOnline columnist on whether he would volunteer for a salary reduction.

During the exchange on April 16, Morgan was also angered when the politician claimed the Government was prepared for the pandemic, telling him: ‘Stop playing that game with me, Mr Hancock. You’re buying yourself a bit of time.’

Mr Morgan said he would have ‘admired’ Mr Hancock more if he would have just admitted that the Department of Health ‘had not been prepared’ for the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the National Health Service.

He added: ‘Your resolute refusal to concede you made any mistakes here grates with me and misjudges the public mood’.

The pair continued to clash as Morgan chastised Mr Hancock, reminding him he runs the show after the politician urged him to ‘let him speak’, during the interview.

On Good Morning Britain Mr Morgan said of the watchdog investigation: ‘They have not held up any of the complaints. I’m glad about that.

‘Freedom of speech matters and journalists doing their job matters. Getting the government to think about every decision they are taking matters, holding them to account matters.

‘We do our job they do theirs. But we are all on the same side here and we shouldn’t mistake challenging government’s with wanting government to fail. 

‘I want our government to succeed. We do this challenging everyday with ministers to help them make better decisions, so that fewer people die. 

‘We are on the same side against the same enemy. It’s not a referendum, its not an election, its one virus against the world.’

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