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Phillip Schofield slams 'cold and heartless' MP Helen Whately in emotional debate about care homes on This Morning

PHILLIP Schofield slammed "cold and heartless" MP Helen Whately in an emotional debate about care homes on This Morning.

Ex Coronation Street star Leandra Ashton appeared on the daytime show today alongside her mover Ylenia Angeli, who was arrested for trying to remove her mother from a home.

A video of the arrest went viral yesterday after police forcibly prevented the pair from taking 97-year-old Tina, who suffers from dementia, back to theirs after they struggled with not being able to spend time with her due to restrictions in care homes amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Care Minister Whately also appeared on the programme to give her view, but host Phil was unimpressed with what she had to say.

While she insisted that she found the story heartbreaking and emotional, Phil demanded to know why she wasn't fixing the situation.

When Whately said that the government were publishing new guidance on visiting care homes "as we go into lockdown" today, Holly Willoughby interjected: "The problem is, we are in lockdown – the guidelines have only just been published with no time for care homes to catch up.

"All these families are sat there waiting and nothing's happening!"

Phil continued: "Do you encourage care homes to call the police if a family comes to pick up their 97-year-old mother? It's not so much about quantity of life, it's about quality of life.

"What's happening here is an elderly lady is being taken home to be cared for by a loving family – do you agree that care homes were right to call the police?"

With tension growing, the MP replied: "As I just said, I know how much people need to-"

But irate Phil didn't let her finish, repeating: "Should the care home have called the police?"

Whately then said that she wouldn't comment on the individual case relating to the care home and police, with Holly then asking: "How quickly will progress happen?

"Will we be able to hug our grannies for Christmas?"

But Whately appeared to deliver a devastating blow, replying: "Care homes will enable Covid-secure visits in a visiting pod with a screen. We have to remember that Covid is unfortunately airborne so we are saying to people to keep a social distance.

"Holding hands and hugging, I know how it feels, but all of us aren't able to hug or have physical contact with somebody outside of the household."

Furious Phil then snapped: "Where is the compassion here for a 97-year-old lady in her final years? The family want to hug her, be with her, damn the consequences!

"They want her, she needs them – you look cold, you look heartless.

"This is affecting people's mental health, there has to be a way around this."

The Minister insisted that she did have compassion, replying: "I've sat in tears listening to the stories and talking to people, I genuinely find it heartbreaking."

Later in the chat, Leandra insisted that she and her mother didn't put any other care home residents at risk when they took her nan, explaining that she'd been at the front door with nobody else around.

They suspect that elderly Tina is now being kept in isolation after getting into their car.


In the emotional viral video, Ylenia can be seen handcuffed in the back of a police car while confused Tina is sat helplessly in the passenger seat of the family car.

Leandra, who played Saskia Larson in Corrie, can be heard saying: "Nan, I love you and we are going to fight for you."

The heartbreaking scenes led to calls for a review of the Government’s policy on visits to elderly people in care homes.

This wasn't 44-year-old Whately's first live TV run-in, clashing with Piers Morgan back in April in scenes that triggered 2,000 Ofcom complaints against Piers – who was accused of bullying.

The outspoken star had called the politician "utterly useless" and accused her of "smirking" while discussing the Covid crisis.

Whately also sparked outrage in June when she suggested that the Government could blame scientists over the handling of coronavirus patients being sent to care homes to free up hospitals.

In a massive on-air blunder she said she could "stick it" to the scientists over the deaths of more than 12,000 people in care homes.

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