Eamonn Holmes accuses Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield of 'lying' over Queue-gate row

Eamonn Holmes
Eamonn Holmes has weighed in on the Queue-gate row. (PA)

Eamonn Holmes has accused his former This Morning co-stars Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield of lying about the "Queue-gate" row.

Willoughby and Schofield have come under fire in recent days after being pictured in what appeared to be a "fast-track" queue through Westminster Hall to view the Queen's lying in state ahead of her funeral.

Read more: Eamonn Holmes jokes about queue-gate row

Many mourners had spent up to 14 hours in the queue to pay their respects, including David Beckham who was praised for waiting 12 hours, and Susanna Reid who had queued for seven hours.

But the images appearing to show Willoughby and Schofield "queue-jumping" have sparked outrage, despite the presenters explaining that they were there purely in a work capacity.

Eamonn Holmes weighs in on This Morning 'queue-jump' row
Eamonn Holmes weighs in on This Morning 'queue-jump' row. (GB News)

Speaking about the story being covered in Wednesday's papers on his GB News show, Holmes – who left This Morning after he and wife Ruth Langsford were dropped from their regular Friday presenting slot – gave his own views on the controversy.

As broadcaster Clare Muldoon, who has previously appeared in various This Morning topical debates, talked about the story with him, she remarked on Willoughby wearing a face mask in the pictures from Westminster Hall.

Read more: Piers Morgan defends Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield over queue jump scandal

Muldoon asked: "Why was she wearing a mask, is she allergic to the public?"

Holmes answered: "Oh, she does that, Holly's in tears, but Holly's always in tears. She wears a mask, I think she's quite fearful germophobic, so I think that's what that's about."

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22:  (L to R)  Phillip Schofield, Holly Willoughby, Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes pose in the Winners Room during the National Television Awards held at The O2 Arena on January 22, 2019 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Phillip Schofield, Holly Willoughby, Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes were previously colleagues at This Morning. (Getty Images)

He went on to make it clear that he did not believe the explanation that they were there purely for journalistic purposes.

"They say they didn't get a fast-track – lie. They say they didn't pay their respects to the body – lie. What else were they there for?" he said.

"I mean let's just tell the truth about the whole thing, if they messed up, instead of being arrogant and saying, 'oh we were there working as journalists', why don't they just say, 'yeah, we thought it would be a good idea'.

"As a lot of us would, I mean I have to say, if you were offered a VIP thing, it would be very, very tempting to do."

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have clarified they were at Westminster Hall for work. (ITV)

Muldoon added that she thought there needed to be "a complete clear out" at This Morning and ITV.

The row was addressed during Tuesday's This Morning, where mobile phone footage was shown of Willoughby and Schofield's reactions to walking through Westminster Hall.

A voiceover from Willoughby explained: "Like hundreds of accredited broadcasters and journalists, we were given official permission to access the hall. It was strictly for the purpose of reporting on the event for millions of people in the UK who haven't been able to visit Westminster in person.

"The rules were that we would be quickly escorted around the edges to a platform at the back. In contrast, those paying respects walked along a carpeted area beside the coffin and were given time to pause.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: Eamonn Holmes attends the TRIC Awards 2022 at Grosvenor House on July 06, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Eamonn Holmes did not hold back in his views on the controversy. (Getty Images)

"None of the broadcasters and journalists there took anyone's place in the queue and no-one filed past the Queen.

"We of course respected those rules, however we realise that it may have looked like something else and therefore we totally understand the reaction.

"Please know that we would never jump a queue."

An ITV statement said: "We asked Phillip and Holly to be part of a film for this Tuesday’s programme. They did not jump the queue, have VIP access or file past the Queen lying in state – but instead were there in a professional capacity as part of the world’s media to report on the event.”

A petition calling for Willoughby and Schofield to be axed from This Morning has now reached more than 55,000 signatures.