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Richard Madeley sparks uproar as he gets facts wrong in GMB clash

Richard Madeley clashes with firefighter over strike action

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Tuesday’s Good Morning Britain saw several fans flooding social media with criticism over Richard Madeley, accusing him of not “getting his facts right” as he interviewed the general secretary of the Fire Brigade’s Union, Matt Wrack. As the ITV presenter quizzed Matt over his right to strike, some viewers decided to “switch off”.

Richard and co-host Susanna Reid questioned Matt after it was announced firefighters in the UK had voted for strike action over pay.

“A fundamental question to kick off with, the police are not allowed to strike, by law, because they are an essential service,” Richard stated.

“Obviously, the fire brigade is an essential service. So what gives you the right to strike when the police don’t have that right?”

“Well, we’re not police officers, we’re civilian employees with the same rights as any other civilian worker in Britain,” Matt explained.

“You’re an essential service,” Richard cut in as the former fighter spoke.

Matt responded: “We’re civilian workers, we work for a local authority, the same as the people who clean the streets, collect your refuse, teach in your schools, so-“

“Yeah, but I’m not going to die if my dustbins aren’t collected,” Richard interrupted.

“We hope we don’t have to go on strike,” Matt remarked. “But we have rights as workers.”

Richard argued: “No, no I didn’t mean… we’ll get onto that. What I mean is the fire brigades provide an essential service in the same way as the police do.”

“You’ve drawn a false analogy,” Matt commented, becoming frustrated. “Police are not normal workers, they have specific legal obligations as sworn officers. They don’t have the right to join a trade union, we do have the right.”

“So it’s a legalistic difference?” the broadcaster clarified.

“They don’t have the right to join a trade union, firefighters have the right to join a trade union, and we will defend that right,” Matt continued.

“Firefighters all over the world, generally, have the right to join a trade union. The rights of police officers may differ across the world. We talk to firefighters all over the world. Overwhelming, firefighters have the right to strike.”

“I’m not challenging your right to strike,” Richard added. “I just want to know what your thinking was because you say it’s a false analogy, but a lot of people do make that analogy.”

“Actually, I don’t think that’s what most people are saying,” Matt disagreed. “Public opinion shows overwhelming support.”

Viewers tuned in slammed Richard for the interview and his “aggressive” manner as Twitter user @DAVEPNEFC1 decided: “@GMB Madeley on, switch over.”

@tighabhinn complained: “MADELEY & REID attacked the union boss Matt Wrack in an aggressive & antagonistic manner but ended up tamed by the clear logic of his answers @GMB #GMB.”

@Caltonfan asked: “When will Madeley learn he isn’t as clever as he thinks he is? Clearly knows F all about why people strike and gets his a*** handed to him every time a union leader is on #gmb.”

“Richard Madeley on form looking a t** again and getting schooled. He can’t stop talking. Just get a mirror and talk to yourself. Mick Lynch must really have upset him and he’s trying to demonise all union Leaders at his own expense. Hilarious,” #[email protected] commented.

@Alix90722538 penned: “Richard Madeley getting his facts wrong again about striking workers, this time it’s the firefighters… Urgh, why is he on TV? #GMB.”

@sdfpk stated: “Madeley, you’re not gonna know more about firefighting than firefighting guy #gmb.”

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.

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