Gyles Brandreth looking angry and Dermot O'Leary looking unimpressed

This Morning host Dermot O’Leary hailed as he fires back in huge clash with Gyles Brandreth: ‘I don’t agree with that’

They were discussing the current rate of maternity pay

This Morning presenters Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond looked furious today (February 16) as they clashed with talking head Gyles Brandreth.

At the top of the show, the presenting pair discussed the day’s news with Gyles and journalist Sonia Sodha.

They were debating calls from the unions for workplaces to double the amount of money women are paid during maternity leave.

Dermot O'Leary looking unimpressed on This Morning
This Morning presenter Dermot was distinctly unimpressed by Gyles’ comments (Credit: ITV)

This Morning presenters Dermot and Alison clash with Gyles

It came as women are being forced back to work earlier than they may have wanted because they can’t afford to stay at home. Alison looked pretty choked up as she told a story of a woman forced to choose between heating and eating.

Sonia then suggested that maternity pay should be increased and the gender pay gap gets wider once mums return to work after having kids, due to many working part-time hours. Dermot then asked her: “Is that the government supporting the industries?”

No, no, get government out of this.

However, before she could answer, Gyles jumped in and said: “No, no, get government out of this.”

He then added: “We are all in favour of maternity leave and proper pay for it. That is decided by the people who are the employers. The good news is if you have a happy workplace and look after your staff well they reward you by working harder and longer. So it’s in everybody’s interests to do this properly.”

He continued: “But the government… Look, industry is made, not by the government, the government doesn’t create anything, it just takes and spends. The economy is made by the people out there doing the work.”

Gyles Brandreth looking angry on This Morning
Gyles Brandreth clashed with Dermot on This Morning today (Credit: ITV)

‘I am not a socialist Gyles’

Dermot responded: “The issue with that Gyles is, with respect, that’s where you and I fundamentally disagree. If you leave it to the market no one gets looked after. The only people who get looked after in the market are people with money.”

“No, no. This is completely wrong,” Gyles fired back.

“Well I disagree,” said a disgruntled Dermot.

“This is why I am a capitalist and you are a socialist,” Gyles stated.

“I’m not a socialist Gyles but I don’t agree with that in particular,” said Dermot.

“But I’ve just explained to you that a better working environment makes people work better, longer and more productively,” he repeated.

“But what about when you’re pregnant, when you need to have that time off?” a furious-looking Alison said.

“That’s what I’m saying, if you look after your people well…

“The fundamental solution between us is I don’t believe in a top-down solution, the government can solve everything. I’m agreeing with the unions here. Treat the women properly, treat the parents properly, and you will be rewarded.

“The fundamental is we need low inflation and a growing economy to make all these things possible but the government alone is not the answer,” he concluded.

Viewers react

This Morning viewers were quick to react, with many hailing Dermot.

“Good for Dermot for standing up to out of touch Gyles,” said one.

“Brandreth getting nasty, well done Dermot,” said another. “Please get rid of the obnoxious Gyles! The man’s an [bleep],” said a third.

“Gyles living in fantasy land where companies pay a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, utter hogwash,” another added.

“Is Gyles a Tory by any chance?” another asked.

Read more: This Morning viewers divided as permanent new presenters revealed

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor