Richard Madeley faces bizarre calls to be 'sacked' for reading out viewers' support for Lee Anderson

Richard Madeley

Richard Madeley has come under fire for reading out viewers' support for Lee Anderson

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 27/02/2024

- 15:38

The TV presenter read aloud social media posts backing the suspended MP

Richard Madeley has come under fire after he oversaw a debate about suspended Tory MP Lee Anderson on Tuesday morning.

The debate, which saw panelists Andrew Pierce and Kevin Maguire engage in a fiery war of words, centred around Anderson's comments about London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Anderson had said on Friday about Khan: "I don't actually believe that the Islamists have got control of our country, but what I do believe is they've got control of Khan and they've got control of London, and they've got control of (Keir) Starmer as well.

"People are just turning up in their thousands, and doing anything they want, and they are laughing at our police. This stems from Khan, he's actually given our capital city away to his mates."

Anderson's comments sparked claims of "Islamophobia" from the opposition which the Tory Party has refused to agree with.

Anderson later admitted his "words may have been clumsy" but "were borne out of sheer frustration at what is happening to our beautiful capital city" as he refused to apologise.

Richard Madeley

Richard Madeley presents Good Morning Britain on ITV


As Madeley oversaw a debate about the comments alongside fellow TV presenter Susanna Reid and panellists Maguire and Pierce, the former This Morning host decided to share some of the support that Anderson has received amid the criticism of his remarks.

"Can I just read you two or three messages we've had this morning - and we had many like this yesterday when we talked about this," Madeley interjected during Tuesday's debate.

He then read aloud a tweet that said Anderson "spoke for many Londoners", while another said he was "100 percent correct in what he says".

Madeley also read a third which said: "Lee Anderson should not apologise because what he said was simply the truth."

Putting the social media posts to Maguire and Pierce, Madeley added that "there's a big ground swell of public support" for the suspended MP.

Maguire hit back by claiming: "There is a mainstreaming and legitimising of hatred of Muslims which - I'm sorry but some of them (supporters) could be ignorant."

While the words Madeley uttered on air weren't his own and were those of viewers and Anderson supporters, he's now faced calls to leave his post on Good Morning Britain.

Angered by Madeley reading aloud the posts, one X user commented: "Utter drivel on #GMB.

WATCH HERE: Andrew Pierce and Kevin Maguire clash over Lee Anderson comments

"Richard Madeley reads three tweets out supporting Lee Anderson and not a single tweet supporting Sadiq Khan (when there are thousands), and calling out islamaphobia! @itv @gmb really should sack Madeley for political bias. He makes me sick."

Another also took aim at Madeley - despite the support being from viewers: "If the Conservatives have taken action against Lee Anderson for islamaphobia shouldn't #gmb #itv do the same to Richard Madeley for defending his words?"

And a third baselessly hit out: "I swear Richard Madeley makes up the 'viewers comments' to push his own views #GMB." (sic)

However, amid the furore during Madeley's contribution were plenty of ITV viewers who penned their support for Anderson, with plenty echoing the tweets read out by Madeley.

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