Piers Morgan clashed with black activist and Oxford student Femi Nylander on Wednesday's Good Morning Britain.

They were engaged in a fierce debate over whether the lyrics to Rule Britannia are offensive, with Piers denying they were and slamming "wokery".

Femi argued the song harks back to colonial overtones and celebrates Britain's role in the slave trade.

The row sparked debate on Twitter with strong opinions being voiced on both sides as the BBC's decision to remove Rule Britannia's lyrics before U-turn divides the nation.

Piers denied the song was related to colonialism

Piers who also denied being "remotely right wing" during the debate, said: "I love the Last Night of the Proms, it plays to all the great parts of Great Britain, the patriotism, coming together, singing joyfully, I think it's the wrong battle to pick, most people in the country don't find it offensive.

"We didn't pick the battle," Femi replied, adding that the decision was made quietly by the BBC and had nothing to do with lobbyists protesting the song.

"[The BBC] thought a song that celebrates slavery and imperialism might be better replaced by something else... It says 'Britains never ever shall be slaves".

Femi said the BBC had made the decisions over Rule Britannia internally and it was being blamed on the wrong people

"The song doesn't celebrate slavery, that is a completely misleading statement," argued Piers.

"If you say you are the 'dread' of other people, while you're running the slave trade, but you will never be a slave, Britains will never be colonised, while you're up there colonising, that is cognitive dissonance," said Femi.

Piers ranted: "This song was written before the main thrust of the British Empire, the Spanish and the Dutch were ruling the waves, and it was designed to say we will not be taken over by the Spanish and the Dutch.

"It didn't have anything to do with what Femi is saying, from my studying of the song, it's certainly not a celebration of slavery."

Piers went on to argue that Rule Britannia was much less offensive than lyrics heard in rap songs, and Femi responded saying there was "misogyny" in a lot of music, not just rap.

Viewers were split on Twitter with the row prompting some vicious comments.

"Rule Britania has always been and always will be a national anthem of this country. It's patriotic. End of story. Why can't we just embrace each others cultural differences instead of trying to tear each other down. Whatever happened to #BeKind? #GMB#goodmorningbritain " asked one.

"I’ll say it again. RULE BRITANIA IS NOT ABOUT SLAVERY. IT’S ABOUT FREEING SLAVES Femi’s argument is based on nothing. #gmb " stated another.

But another wrote: "Ffs always rap music it’s embarrassing That piers has the cheek to say that ! #GMB " .

"F**K SAKE!!!! Can Morgan not let anyone f**kin talk or have there say? Why does he just ask 10 questions at a time.. let the person answer the first question you give, I find it so hard to watch him. #gmb " ranted another.

* Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6am