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Wednesday 21st August 2019

Fuming Piers Morgan brands BBC "cowardly" in heated debate with Stanley Johnson over OAPs' TV licence furore

Piers branded the BBC "cowardly"

Piers Morgan has butted heads with Stanley Johnson on Good Morning Britain in a heated debate about the BBC's decision to scrap free TV licences for over-75s.

Piers was furious after the announcement earlier this week and vowed to pay the licence fee for D-Day veterans.

On today's GMB, he branded the Beeb's decision not to send a spokesperson to debate the issue "cowardly" - but I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here favourite Stanley took issue with his use of the word.

Stanley didn't agree with Piers' language (Credit: ITV)

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Piers, fuming, said of the BBC: "Their salaries are paid by us, I find it cowardly that they're not here."

Phil Campion, the former SAS soldier, agreed with Piers and accused the BBC of a "mickey take".

Piers then asked Stanley for his view on the matter, and the former politician said: "Of course, I agree with what Phil is saying about the heroism of people who have served their country, but I don't think you should use words like cowardly like this."

I'm sorry Stanley, it is cowardly.

Piers argued, "It is cowardly!" and when Stanley tried to speak further, Piers cut in: "They don't send a single person to come on when they've made a decision that impacts on 3.7 million pensioners! I'm sorry Stanley, it is cowardly. And that's why they're not here!"

At that point, Stanley struggled to find a footing for his argument and GMB co-host Susanna Reid said she thought the BBC's decision was "indefensible"

On Monday (June 10), the broadcaster announced that TV licence fees for people over 75 would be means-tested from June 2020.

Piers insisted on calling the BBC "cowardly" (Credit: ITV)

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It means that households without someone who receives Pension Credit will have to pay for the licence.

It's expected to impact around 3.7 million households for which the licence was previously free. It is believed that 1.5 million households will be eligible for the free licence under the new scheme.

Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC, said the move was "not an easy decision" to make.

Piers has been a vocal critic of the decision all week. Yesterday (June 11), he branded it an "absolute disgrace" as he and Susanna heard from a caller who broke down in tears when she explained that her husband has dementia and lives in a residential care home - and she faces the prospect of having to pay his licence fee.

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