As the pub debate over a “substantial meal” rages on scotch eggs remain at the centre of the debate as Michael Gove said he’d consider the popular savoury treat a starter.

Gove appeared on Tuesday morning’s instalment of Good Morning Britain opposite hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid.

The conversation quickly moved to scotch eggs after Environment Secretary George Eustice said on Monday that a scotch egg would be considered “substantial” so that pubs could serve alcohol alongside the meaty snack in Tier 2 areas.

Landlords could face hefty fines for failing to comply with the rules, but ministers and Downing Street have caused confusion over the breadcrumb-coated egg.

"As far as I'm concerned it's probably a starter," Mr Gove said when Piers asked him a scotch egg was a substantial meal.

"The broader and more serious point is that there are reasonable rules in hospitality in order to keep us all safe and they specify in certain areas when you are in a hospitality setting when you order a drink it needs to be alongside a substantial meal."



When pressed on what a substantial meal actually was the Cabinet Secretary said: "Pubs already know what the rules are and they have for years, I made a jocular remark that my own preference for a substantial meal might be for more than a scotch egg."

But Gove went on to contradict himself later in the morning speaking to LBC and ITV News causing greater confusion.

He told LBC “a couple of scotch eggs is a starter, as far as I’m concerned”.

But he later told ITV News: “A Scotch egg is a substantial meal.”

He added: “I myself would definitely scoff a couple of Scotch eggs if I had the chance, but I do recognise that it is a substantial meal.”

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Mr Gove said the concept of the substantial meal had existed in law for many years and that, “the Government is relying on people’s common sense.”