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Piers Morgan hit out at those criticising Captain Tom Moore for the centenarian’s trip to Barbados while he was treated in hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus while battling pneumonia.
The 100-year-old was admitted to hospital on Sunday, with Morgan claiming people had been “trolling” Captain Tom as a result and questioning whether he should have travelled and gone on his "bucket list" trip to Barbados over Christmas.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Morgan emphasised the trip was "perfectly legal" at that time.
"We are in February now, this was back in December, we don't know that at all, but frankly that's a matter for the family, they did nothing wrong," he opined.
Currently those in England must not travel nationally or internationally unless for legally permitted reasons – rules that weren’t in place in December.
The journalist also brought up the racist abuse footballer Marcus Rashford has recently opened up about receiving online.
Morgan went on: "I watched yesterday, Twitter has already descended into a total sewer, over Marcus Rashford and other black footballers in this country, racial abuse spewing out from this anonymous cretins on Twitter, and then I see them turn on Captain Sir Tom Moore.
"I see them abusing him and mocking him, a man who served his country in World War II, a man who helped save this country from the Nazis a man who, aged 99, raised £39 million for the NHS.
"Motivated all of us, inspired all of us, been an ambassador for us all over the world, the very best of this country, and for disgusting vermin to be abusing and mocking him and his family on Twitter at such a moment, when clearly there are very serious concerns about his life, I find utterly contemptible."
He added he found the racism directed toward Rashford just as "contemptible" before instructing those sending hateful messages to "get off your slovenly, nasty backsides" and "do something for this country".
At the weekend, a message from Captain Tom's daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore on his Twitter account announced he had been admitted to Bedford Hospital after being treated for pneumonia and then testing positive for COVID-19.
The post added: "He was sat home with us until today when he needed additional help with his breathing. He is being treated in a ward, although he is not in ICU."
A further statement on Monday night on behalf of Ingram-Moore and Captain Tom’s other daughter Lucy Teixeira confirmed the family had joined him in hospital.
It said: “Bedford Hospital continues to care for Captain Sir Tom Moore. At this time members of Captain Tom’s family are with him.
“We respectfully request that media give the family space and privacy and do not contact them directly so they can focus on their father, grandfather and father-in-law.”
Captain Tom’s family confirmed the sad news of his passing later on Tuesday.
Watch: Captain Tom Moore performs with Michael Ball at the Royal Variety Performance