'GMB' debate ended after comic says Boris Johnson's burka letterbox comment was 'gag'

Watch: GMB cuts short a debate over burka comments

Good Morning Britain hosts Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard had to wade in after a debate was triggered by a guest saying Boris Johnson's comment about women in burkas looking like letterboxes was a "gag".

Comedian Leo Kearse made the comment during a discussion with lawyer and activist Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu about cancel culture.

He was referring to the fact that in 2018 Boris Johnson said burkas made women look “like letterboxes” or bank robbers.

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Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard had to end the debate. (ITV)

"Boris Johnson said he thought that women in burkas look like letterboxes,” he said.

"That's not an expression of hate, it's just a visual gag because they look a bit like letterboxes, it's not a hateful thing.

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"The only hate that I can see is from the people doing the cancelling, destroying people's lives based on little offhand jokes... Like a public execution.”

Dr Mos-Shogbamimu kept trying to interject and Shephard eventually stepped in and asked Kearse to let her speak.

She then responded: “This is unacceptable Leo."

Tensions continued to flare and the pair kept talking over each other.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 10: Women's Rights Activist Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu addresses a rally in Londons Hyde Park against governments implementation of pensions age equalisation policy, which increased the female state pension age from 60 to 66. Protesters call for fair transitional state pension arrangements as the current policy changes affect an estimated 3.9 million women who have to wait up to an extra six years to receive their pensions. October 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu was on 'GMB'. (Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Garraway and Shephard then stepped in and announced that it was time for the ITV show to go to an ad break.

Shephard said: “We have strict break restrictions at this stage, but thank you very much for your thoughts. It’s clearly a very, very emotive subject.”

There was also plenty of debate about the row on social media.

"'Not an expression of hate' said the white man! God forgive your privileged life is messed up because you want to refer to Muslim women as letterboxes!" one viewer stormed.

The presenter made the blunder during a chat about cancel culture. (ITV screengrab)
The guests were debating cancel culture. (ITV screengrab)

Another posted: "We are real, making fun of Muslim women like that was never ok and never will be ok."

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However, another said: "The letterbox comment was joking and whether you like that sort of humour or not that’s what it was."

Yahoo has contacted ITV for comment.

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