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Good Morning Britain has received 145 Ofcom complaints regarding an episode that saw an awkward interview between Richard Madeley and a SAGE scientist.
The episode which aired on July 5 saw hosts Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid speak to SAGE scientist and psychologist Susan Michie along with others about Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
In the discussion with Susan Michie, Richard brought up the scientist's political affiliations as they debated lockdown measures.
Ofcom’s report for complaints received between Tuesday 29 June and Monday 5 July 2021 confirmed the number of complaints about the episode.
Metro has reported that the broadcasting regulator confirmed to them that the subject of the complaints was regarding this interview.
In the discussion, Richard said: “There’s a point I really have to put to you and you’ll be aware of this because there’s been a lot of commentary about this in the British media about you and it’s to do with your politics and you know I’m going to ask you."
An interview that Richard Madeley did on Good Morning Britain has come under fire
He went on: “You’ve been a member of the Communist Party for about 40 years now, you’re still a member.
"And we know that Communism is basically statist.
“We look at Communist countries around the world and we see that they’re tremendously top-down dominant and control societies that they rule over.”
He then asked whether: “If your politics inform 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.”
SAGE scientist and psychologist Susan Michie was questioned by Richard about her political allegiances
Michie answered: “I’ve come on your programme as a scientist – as do all people who come onto your programme as scientists.
"They come on to talk about the evidence, the relevant theories, how we approach scientific disciplines, and you don’t ask other scientists about politics.
“I’m very happy to speak about science, which is what my job is, and to leave it to that."
She then adds when asked again about her politics that she will continue to speak as a scientist and address scientific matters.
Richard responds that this is a “perfectly fair answer’.
Susan (left) was one of a panel of individuals asked to discuss lockdown restrictions
However, following the episode airing, Susan Michie confirmed on Twitter that she had wanted an apology for her treatment on the show.
One Twitter user had penned: “Oh my goodness, that was awful but a handled so well by @SusanMichie It warrants a complaint.”
Michie shared the tweet and wrote: “A complaint has been submitted and a public apology requested”.
Meanwhile, Deepti Gurdasani, epidemiologist and senior lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, also tweeted on Monday: "Very very disappointing to see Richard Madeley essentially quote a hit piece on @SusanMichie today on @GMB – suggesting her very sensible advice as a scientist was in some way compromised by her political leanings? WTF? This is misogynistic BS. #boycottGMB ".
Richard's interview questioning was criticised on Twitter by other experts
She later penned: "Why invite scientists onto your show @GMB, if you're then going to instigate attacks on them based on right-wing trash hit pieces – leading to massive pile ons.
"Don't expect us to appear on your show if you can't treat us with basic respect. We're doing a public service."
The Mirror has reached out to ITV, Ofcom and representatives of Richard Madeley for comment on this story.
*Good Morning Britain airs on weekday mornings on ITV from 6am to 9am. Previous episodes are available on ITV Hub.