The government began a boycott of ITV breakfast show Good Morning Britain at the end of April, citing host Morgan’s aggressive interview technique.
With Morgan now on holiday in France, the Health Secretary agreed to appear on sister show Lorraine, hosted by famously cheery presenter Lorraine Kelly.
Morgan tweeted: “Awww, look who sneaked back onto ITV the moment I left the country. .. it’s our fearless Health Secretary @MattHancock !”
He then went on to defend his own past interviews of Matt Hancock.
Morgan insisted: “Govt ministers incl Hancock all got plenty of chances to speak when they appeared on @GMB - it was what came out of their mouths that was the problem.”
He also responded to one Twitter user with a clip of one of his interviews with Hancock before the government began its boycott of Good Morning Britain, defending his technique.
Morgan said: “This is how @MattHancock should be challenged in every interview he does. He's the Health Secretary who's presided over a public health disaster that's so far cost nearly 70,000 deaths. Don't let him off the hook.”
Kelly, 60, ended her interview by suggesting to Hancock that he might like to appear in Good Morning Britain in the future, to which he replied: “I love ITV.”
Morgan and co-host Susanna Reid are now on hiatus until September, with the breakfast show being hosted by Ben Shephard, Kate Garraway and Charlotte Hawkins, among others.
Despite her sunny disposition, Kelly did not let the health secretary off lightly, taking him to task on the issue of public trust in the government being eroded following reports of government advisers, including Dominic Cummings, breaking lockdown rules themselves.
Kelly said: “To feel the confidence you need to have trust and would you accept that one this time, trust has eroded and that’s because of lack of clarity.
“That’s because senior figures have flouted the rules... I know you’re shaking your head but it’s true, they flouted the law. They didn’t just bend it, they smashed it to smithereens.
“A lot of people thought, ‘If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me’, and I think in some ways, you’re lucky the country has been so compliant.”
Discussing the new rule that customers will be required to wear face masks in shops from 24 July, Hancock suggested the government may issue advice on how to wear a face mask.
Kelly retorted: “We don't need to be told how to put a mask on."
She also tackled Hancock on the issue of long-term free parking in hospitals and mixed messages about the rules for attending private funerals.
Kelly asked Hancock if he was concerned there might be a public inquiry into the way the government responded to the coronavirus pandemic.
He replied: “What I think about is what is the best way to tackle this virus with the least damage to society, the economy, but keeping people safe. That is all that matters... The only thing that matters is sorting the problems, the challenges are so big that all of the tittle-tattle frankly doesn’t matter.”