Ben Shephard ‘frustrated’ by Rishi Sunak after response to excluded self-employed workers

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CAPTION: Rishi Sunak on GMB
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Ben Shephard admitted that he was left frustrated by MP Rishi Sunak following his response to excluded self-employed workers during an interview on Good Morning Britain.

The Chancellor appeared on the ITV programme for the first time in months and reacted to pub and bar chain Mitchells & Butlers, who own Harvester and All Bar One, announcing that 1,300 workers would be made redundant.

After insisting that jobs were his "number one priority in this crisis", he agreed that the hospitality industry had been the most impacted but that he had put in place a number of schemes to help them.

"These restrictions do have an impact of businesses, particularly hospitality," he told hosts Ben and Susanna Reid. "It is going to be difficult and I appreciate that but we are doing all that we can to suppress the impact."

ITV Screengrab CAPTION: Rishi Sunak on GMB LINK:

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But Ben later went on to probe him on his response to the millions of self-employed workers who have received no help from the government during the pandemic.

ExcludedUK, a volunteer-run organisation working towards bringing about an end to the exclusions in the UK Government’s Covid-19 financial support measures, claim that three million of UK taxpayers have been excluded from the support

However, the Chancellor disputed the figures and suggested that many were eligible to be furloughed and able to benefit from the schemes.

ITV Screengrab CAPTION: Ben Shephard rants at Rishi Sunak in savage GMB takedown LINK:

Ben went on to ask whether he was willing to meet with any of the members of ForgottenLtd or ExcludedUK, to which her replied: "We've already spoken a lot to them."

He added that the government had announced an increase in day-to-day public spending: "These are public services that benefit everyone."

But Susanna pointed out that didn't help when workers had no money to spend to go anywhere.

ITV Screengrab CAPTION: Ben Shephard rants at Rishi Sunak in savage GMB takedown LINK:

She also questioned the Chancellor on Universal Credit and whether he could guarantee the £20 uplift would be maintained after April.

However, he said that he could not, explaining: "It would be better to wait until after the winter period [to make a decision]."

Afterwards, Ben admitted that he had found the interview "frustrating".

"It's very frustrating because we only have a s et amount of time," Ben said. "We're trying to put your case forward… he's said he's meeting with representatives but a lot of you say that's not true."

*Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV

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