17 October 2023

Madeley ‘sorry viewers were upset’ by Gaza question to MP Layla Moran

17 October 2023

TV presenter Richard Madeley is “sorry he upset viewers” with a question to MP Layla Moran about her family in Gaza City.

The broadcaster was interviewing the Liberal Democrat MP on ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB) on Tuesday when he asked if “there was any word on the street” before Hamas launched its attack on Israel.

The comments drew criticism on social media, with some calling the question “appalling”.

A GMB spokesman said: “Richard is sorry that he has upset viewers with his question to Layla Moran.

“His intention was to understand the mood and atmosphere amongst the civilian population of Gaza immediately before the attacks.

“He asked Layla about her family in Gaza City because she had discussed speaking to them earlier in the interview. He did not mean to imply that she or her family might have had any prior knowledge of the attacks.”

On Monday, Ms Moran spoke in Parliament about her extended family, who are Christian Palestinians, having their house bombed by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), staying in a church and being “too old” to flee Gaza.

The MP for Oxford West and Abingdon then appeared on GMB on Tuesday where she said: “There is no food, no water, they (my family) have more and more people coming to the church because you seek sanctuary in a church, that’s what you do… we are desperately, desperately worried about (them).”

We have to stop this hatred. We have to bring people together and find a way through ... Peace is harder than war

Later on GMB, Madeley asked Ms Moran: “With your family connections in Gaza, did you have any indication of what was going to happen 10 days ago, two weeks ago? Was there there any word on the street?”

Ms Moran replied: “Not this, not this. I think everyone… everyone has been surprised by, first of all, partly the timing, the sophistication (and) the way that it’s happened.

“What I will say is that I have been warning, and others have in Parliament as well, for a number of years now that if we don’t find a way… The fact of the matter is there has not been a (negotiating) table, let alone to go back to a negotiating table, for at least 10 years now.

“This is a cycle of violence and every time there is a cycle of violence, my worry now is that this is radicalising another generation, on all sides.

“We have to stop this hatred. We have to bring people together and find a way through so when we in Britain say ‘We don’t want to see this anymore’, we have to put our shoulder to the cart and say ‘We now need peace’ and that means it is going to be harder. Peace is harder than war.”

Prospective Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Liz Jarvis was among those criticising Madeley, and wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Ms Moran “handled this situation with remarkable composure and dignity”.

Eastleigh councillor Ms Jarvis also said the TV presenter “should apologise” over the “appalling question”.

SNP MP Glenrothes and Central Fife Peter Grant wrote: “Dear God. Richard Madeley trying to suggest that innocent Palestinians in Gaza and the UK knew about the planned massacre in Israel and did nothing about it.”

The PA news agency understands GMB has been in contact with Ms Moran, who told the ITV show she “appreciated” the interview and would appear again.

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