Watch: Michael Gove accused of using 'silly voices' to discuss cost of living crisis
Michael Gove has been branded 'embarrassing' after using a number of 'silly voices' during an interview on the cost of living crisis.
The communities secretary appeared to become irritated while being quizzed on what further action the government might announce to help struggling families.
Following the Queen's Speech on Tuesday — over which the government was criticised for not doing enough to tackle the soaring cost of living — there were reports an emergency budget could be announced to bring in further measures to ease the effects of rising costs.
Boris Johnson later told the Commons that ministers would say more “in the days to come”.
Gove said such reports of an emergency budget were untrue — and switched to an array of voices to get his point across.
Gove told BBC Breakfast: "We are constantly looking at ideas in order to ensure that we relieve the pressure on people who are facing incredibly tough times.
"But that doesn't lead to an emergency budget which is what some people immediately thought that it did."
He then appeared to affect an US accent to get his next point across.
"It is an example of some commentators chasing their own tails and trying to take a statement that is commensensible (sic), turning it into — major capital letters — a big news story," he said.
Gove then opted for what sounded like a Liverpudlian accent.
"And in fact when the Treasury quite rightly say — calm down — then instead of recognising that they've overinflated the story in the first place, they then say it was clearly a split."
Labour MP Karl Turner was among the voices criticising Gove's performance.
He tweeted: "Embarrassing. There’s a cost of living crisis and a government minister is doing silly voices during an interview."
Luke Pollard MP added: "When a government has run out of ideas….they think it’s time for silly voices. Ridiculous."
No 10 defended Gove after he was accused of making light of families' struggles.
Boris Johnson's official spokesman said: “Michael Gove is an effective Cabinet communicator who has a variety of means of getting the message across.”
Asked if he makes Scouse impressions during Cabinet meetings, the spokesman said: “Not in the ones I’ve been in.”
Johnson was branded "out of touch" for failing to do enough to help people struggling with the spiralling cost of living crisis in the Queen's Speech.
Keir Starmer accused the PM of being out of ideas to help families struggling to get by, branding the government's agenda a "thin address bereft of ideas or purpose".
The government is under growing pressure to support families struggling with skyrocketing energy bills and the highest levels of inflation seen for decades.
Research published on Monday revealed that one in seven adults live in homes where people have skipped meals, eaten smaller portions or gone hungry all day because they could not afford or access food.
Johnson's spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that the government’s new cost of living committee met for the first time on Tuesday.
“You can expect there to be more work done off the back of that discussion.
"The prime minister urged ministers to go faster and be as creative as possible in ensuring the Government is doing everything on this important issue,” the spokesman said.