Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer came under fire when he appeared on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday morning.

During Tuesday morning’s instalment of the ITV1 breakfast show, hosts Adil Ray and Susanna Reid grilled Sir Keir over his John Lewis dig at Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of the upcoming election.

Ahead of Thursday’s vote, the Survation poll for ITV’s Good Morning Britain put the Conservatives on 50% – 17 points ahead of Labour in a seat it has held since it was created in 1974.

Sir Keir, who has visited the constituency three times in the course of the by-election, said he hopes Labour will not lose another seat in the party’s so-called “red wall”.

However, he acknowledged that the party still has a “mountain to climb” after the devastating defeat under Jeremy Corbyn in the 2019 general election if it is to get back to a position where it can regain power.

“I hope we won’t lose Hartlepool. We are fighting for every vote there. I know that every vote has to be earned,” Sir Keir told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Later on Tuesday, appearing on GMB Susanna asked: "Can you just explain to me, why you were in the wallpaper department of John Lewis?

"How does that help the voters of Hartlepool?"

Sir Keir answered: "Well I will tell you what that was all about, that was about whether the Prime Minister was being..."

Adil then interrupted the Labour leader.

He said: "I think Susanna is getting at... whose idea was it for that photo opportunity in John Lewis?"

He added: "We can discuss the issues and quite rightly, speak to politicians but it was a little bit bizarre, strange that with so much to do, you and your team decided you had time to drop anything and find your nearest John Lewis store.

"Whose idea was that?"

In response, Starmer said: “You are missing a very important point here and that there is a growing feeling that at the top of Government there’s a sense, a general sense that the rules don’t really apply to them.

“Whether that’s contracts for mates, the Prime Minister and other senior ministers, this sense that there’s one rule for them and another rule for everybody else.

“That goes very strongly against the British instinct and people don’t like it and understandably if people have gone through the pandemic and they’re self-employed, the idea that others can directly access senior ministers when they’re struggling on the front line.

“There’s something very wrong about that.”