Hosting GMB on Monday (5 July), there was discussion about the easing of lockdown restrictions from 19 July expected to be announced by Boris Johnson later today.
Madeley and co-host Susanna Reid spoke to returning guest Dr Hilary, who claimed that the UK should taking rising cases more seriously – as Australia is – rather than “abandoning” restrictions altogether.
However, the medical professional was cut off by Madeley, who interjected: “But we have the vaccine and Australia hasn’t.”
When Hilary explained that vaccines didn’t provide “100 per cent protection”, Madeley said that he was being “misleading”.
“You’re using percentages to make the case here, but that’s a bit misleading. Because yes, the percentage rise in hospitalisations has gone up, I think 24 per cent, that sounds a lot but in real numbers, it is starting from a very low level,” he said.
“But it’s increasing,” Hilary replied, with Madeley shooting back: “But it would, wouldn’t it?”
One viewer commented: “Why is Richard Madeley on my TV arguing with Dr Hilary about medical matters? Maybe they’ll employ me to talk crap about astrophysics, as I am as qualified as he is.”
“Richard Madeley is not a qualified person to be arguing with Dr Hilary on the TV about mask wearing,” another wrote.
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The presenter also spoke to psychologist Susan Michie, who has worked on the Sage committee regarding lockdowns and said that she didn’t think restrictions should be lifted on 19 July.
Madeley then questioned Michie about her political views, mentioning her membership of the Communist Party and saying: “If your politics informs your sense of control, it’s not just a medical argument, but you have a political bent to want the state to tell people what to do.”
Viewers of the show were unimpressed by Madeley’s line of questioning, accusing the presenter of taking “cheap shots” at Michie.
“If you missed Richard Madeley’s McCarthyite questioning of Professor Susan Michie, around 7.25am, do try to find it on catch up TV. It may scare the hell out of you,” one viewer commented.
“I try not to use profanity on here, struggling now as I have just witnessed the most pompous pathetic & rude Richard Madeley talking to a medical expert & equate her science knowledge with her politics,” another wrote.
One Twitter user posted: “That ‘question’ from Richard Madeley was basically to challenge Susan Michie’s scientific credentials and accuse her of wanting to live in a dictatorship, she put him in his place, he is a dangerous man.”
The Independent has contacted ITV for comment.
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