The report, which was authored by both the House of Commons and Science and Technology Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee, described the government’s early response to the virus as “one of the worst public health responses’ in the history of the United Kingdom”.
The frosty exchange between Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid occurred towards the end of their interview with Mr. Barclay who is the MP for North East Cambridgeshire.
“I have to tell you that we have been bombarded by messages on this story and I have to say that the majority of people are surprisingly forgiven.
“There are others who are extremely angry, particularly those who lost loved ones in care homes when their relatives were sent back when they shouldn’t have been.
“But on the whole you seem to be getting away it.”
Susanna Reid immediately interrupted her fellow presenter and said: “I am sorry, I take issue with that - there was a litany of mistakes Stephen Barclay - I am afraid you haven’t got away with anything as this report shows too many things were done too late but thank you for your time”.
Mr. Barclay appeared on several morning television and radio programmes to answer questions on behalf of the government.
One of the key findings in the House of Commons report was the revelation that had the government locked down sooner in March 2020 tens of thousands of deaths could have been avoided.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster was asked by several news presenters if he would like to apologise for the catastrophic way in which the government reacted to Covid-19 at the beginning of the pandemic.
Mr. Barclay declined the opportunity to apologise several times.