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Tuesday 7th April 2020

Michael Gove tells Sports Direct boss to 'back off' in live Good Morning Britain interview

The store has subsequently shut

Michael Gove told the boss of Sports Direct to "back off" during a live Good Morning Britain interview today (March 24).

The comments came as Piers Morgan quizzed the cabinet office minister over the government's new coronavirus measures.

Michael Gove criticised Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley on Good Morning Britain (Credit: ITV)

Under Boris Johnson's latest guidelines, all non-essential shops have been advised to close in order to try and stop the virus from spreading.

However, Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley has said that the chain's stores will remain open across the UK.

When asked for his thoughts on that decision, Michael told Piers: "My view is that is Mike Ashley should rescind. He's the man who's in charge of Sports Direct. What he said, he should back off.

"The key thing that we need to do is to make sure that people wherever possible stay at home.

"Yes, it's important for people to exercise, but as the Prime Minister pointed out, that should be done once a day and it's a basic thing that if people can walk, run or cycle they should.

Michael Gove was quizzed over the government's coronavirus guidelines (Credit: ITV)

"But there is no reason for a store like Sports Direct to remain open."

He added: "I can't see any justification for Sports Direct remaining open."

Last night, the Chief Financial Officer of the company, Chris Wootton, tweeted asking the government for guidance on whether the stores should be opening.

It was confirmed at 8.30am today (March 24) that the shops will indeed now be closing.

Michael went on to explain that people were being urged to stay at home in order to help prevent the spread of the virus and protect the NHS.

Piers then pressed the cabinet minister on the government's guidelines for construction workers and whether they should still be going to work.

Piers Morgan questioned the MP on Good Morning Britain (Credit: ITV)

Explaining the rules, Michael said: "Everyone who can conceivably work from home should. But construction and some manufacturing work is essential."

He added: "There is some essential construction work that does need to continue but everyone who is working who cannot work from home should practice safe social distancing measures.

"We need people to practice common sense."

Good Morning Britain is on ITV, weekdays at 6am

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