Phillip Schofield criticised for asking Matt Hancock if dyslexia made him break Covid rules

‘That question was incredibly disrespectful to anyone with dyslexia,’ one viewer wrote

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 07 December 2021 12:23
Phil Schofield asks Matt Hancock if dyslexia caused him to break Covid social distancing guidelines

This Morning host Phillip Schofield is being criticised for asking Matt Hancock if he broke Covid rules due to having dyslexia.

In June, Hancock stepped down as health secretary after admitting breaking Covid rules during an alleged affair with an aide in his departmental office.

The minister’s resignation statement came amid growing pressure on Boris Johnson to remove him from the cabinet or risk jeopardising vital public health messages, as the government continued to respond to the Covid-19 crisis.

Hancock appeared on This Morning on Tuesday (7 December), in a segment that was designed to raise awareness for dyslexia. However, Schofield used the opportunity to bring up Hancock’s breach of social distancing regulations.

Schofield, who presents the ITV series alongside Holly Willoughby, asked Hancock: “Was it your dyslexia that meant you misread the social distancing rules?”

Hancock, appearing surprised by the question, replied: “No, I can't blame that on dyslexia or anything else. In fact, I’m not asking for any special favours ‘cause I’m dyslexic, you know?”

He continued: “In politics, I’ve got some things to offer – in that case, that was a mistake and I’ve apologised for it. It was a failure of leadership because I came on shows like this and asked people to do things and then I didn't follow those rules myself.”

Matt Hancock was on ‘This Morning’ to ‘pledge more help for dyslexia’ when he was asked the question

This Morning viewers are now criticising Schofield for his questioning, with many calling it “disrespectful” and “uncalled for”.

“A bit of a callous way to ask Matt Hancock about his affair from Phil Scofield on This Morning,” one viewer wrote, with another adding: “Say what you like about Matt Hancock but that question was incredibly disrespectful to anyone with dyslexia!”

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“A totally unnecessary comment!” another viewer wrote, stating: “He was there to speak seriously about dyslexia!”

Another added: “Great interview on highlighting dyslexia right up until Phil turned it into a circus.”

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling, but does not pertain to the understanding of words.

The Independent has contacted ITV and Schofield for comment.

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