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Nicky Morgan battles it out with Piers Morgan over NHS sums

On the spot: GMB hosts Piers Morgan and Susanne Reid quiz Nicky Morgan

NICKY MORGAN has been accused of peddling ‘complete nonsense’ over the Conservatives’ pledge of 50,000 more nurses for the NHS.

In an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain, the culture secretary was challenged by host Piers Morgan about the policy and an admission that 19,000 of those already work within the health service.

The Tory minister hit back: ‘I think it’s fair to say that we have highly skilled nurses that we don’t want to leave and, if we are able to persuade them and encourage them to stay, that is good news for nursing care.’

GMB co-host Susanna Reid said it was like claiming the programme would have three extra presenters and ‘then tomorrow you just have exactly the same number of presenters because you’ve managed to persuade me, Piers and Charlotte [Hawkins] to carry on’.

Seeming to become unstuck, Ms Morgan replied: ‘Well, not if you’ve got your additional three, then you’ve got your six. But the fact is that three of you have been encouraged to come on on Tuesday morning and not just on Monday morning.’

Later, Ms Morgan, who is not seeking re-election in her Loughborough seat, blamed a ‘misreading’ of the Tory manifesto that might have resulted in people thinking they are pledging 50,000 ‘new’ nurses if they win the General Election.

She said: ‘I think sometimes that’s a deliberate confusion and sometimes that’s just a genuine misreading of the manifesto — 50,000 more means 50,000 more nurses by 2025.’

Midnight deadline for registering to vote

Rallying cry: Emilia Clarke

THE deadline to register to vote in next month’s General Election looms tonight — with Game Of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke among those encouraging people to sign up. She posted a video online ending with the message: ‘You have a voice — use it!’ Applications can be submitted until 11.59pm through the web link Almost 3million people have applied to register to vote in the past month, according to government figures.