Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Madeley has been challenged by viewers over his interview of rail union leader Mick Lynch.
Madeley was presenting the ITV morning show alongside Kate Garraway as they discussed the train strikes over the festive period and was interviewing Lynch live at the picket line to discuss the planned rail strikes taking place throughout December and January.
He repeatedly interupted Lynch, asking him why he was targetting “people at Christmas”, with Lynch replying “Well, we’re not targeting Christmas. It isn’t Christmas yet, Richard. I don’t know when your Christmas starts, but mine starts on Christmas Eve.” At one point in the heated interview, Madeley told Lynch to “jog on”.
The first in a series of 48-hour train strikes planned this December started today (13 December), with Network Rail and 14 other train companies striking in protest against pay and working conditions.
So what happened during the Good Morning Britain interview? Here’s everything you need to know.
What did Richard Madeley say to Mick Lynch about the train strikes?
Lynch joined ITV’s Good Morning Britain live from the picket line in Euston Station to explain the reason behind the strike, but it wasn’t long before the interview got heated. Madeley accused Lynch of targetting Christmas, stating that the strikes were“robbing” businesses of their income and causing travel chaos.
The RMT general secretary replied: “We’re not targeting Christmas, it isn’t Christmas yet, Richard, I don’t know when your Christmas starts but mine starts on Christmas Eve.” However, as Lynch spoke, Madeley talked over him, stating he was “disingenuous”, adding: “Commercial Christmas starts in December, you know that!”
Madeley asked his next question, but Lynch was unable to respond as Madeley continued to talk adding: “I won’t let you get away with nonsense. Christmas doesn’t start on Christmas Eve, let’s just be clear. It starts in early December and that’s what we’re talking about.” With Lynch then asking the GMB presenter “Richard, why don’t you just interview yourself?” To which Madeley responded: “Cheap point, Mr Lynch. I’m holding you to account on behalf of viewers, not on behalf of myself. I’m not interested in the sound of my own voice, I want to hear yours answering the question.”
At one point, Lynch asked the presenter: “Why don’t you stop talking for a second,” to which Madeley replied: “Because you won’t answer the question and until you do, I’ll keep interrupting. On you go, jog on!”
The back and forth was finally interupted by Kate Garraway who said: “Okay, please talk Mr Lynch. You speak...”
You can watch the interview below.
How have viewers reacted?
There has been a strong reaction from viewers on social media. Good Morning Britain shared a clip of the interview on Twitter along with the caption: “ ‘Will you answer the question Mr Lynch, I won’t let you get away with nonsense’ @richardm56 grills the General Secretary of the RMT, Mick Lynch over striking over the Christmas period”.
Twitter users shared how they felt in the comments, with one likening Madeley to Alan Patridge commenting: “Richard Madeley is even more Alan Partridge than Alan Partridge. Goes on a monologue for minutes then asks why the Mick Lynch isn’t answering the question, perhaps giving him a chance to answer might help, Mr Partridge. Entertaining you are but in a village id1ot kind of way!”
When are the train strikes?
Industrial action will be taking place on 13, 14, 16 and 17 December and on the 3, 4, 6 and 7 January. More than 40,000 workers will walk out over the 48 hour periods, with Network Rail and 14 train operators including Great Western Railway, Avanti West Coast and South Western Railway being impacted.
Passengers have been advised to use the railway only if travel is absolutely necessary, onward impact is expected both before and after the strike, with some services running on a limited timetable.