Good Morning Britain viewers were left appalled after the 67-year-old asked Palestinian guest, Ahmed Alnaouq, who lost 21 members of his family in an Israeli airstrike, if he was ‘close’ to his relatives on Wednesday (November 1).
ITV fans flocked to X, formerly known as Twitter, to express their disbelief over the former This Morning presenter’s ‘unacceptable’ line of questioning, with many calling for him to be sacked.
One fan fumed: ‘Can Richard Madeley just be removed from this show now! Ahmed explaining he lost 21 of his family members in Gaza and Richard asks “how close were you to your brothers” what part of that question is acceptable? #GMB’
‘Richard Madeley and his insensitive and ridiculous questions, yet again. Embarrassing! #GMB,’ another raged.
A third added: ‘Can someone tell this idiot, Richard Madeley, we are all in pain just by watching what’s happening in this war, and we don’t even know these people? How dare he ask someone who lost many of his family if he is close to them? WTAF.#GMB must sack this offensive man straightaway.’
Richard Madeley shocked viewers over his line of questioning (Picture: ITV)
Ahmed appeared on the morning news show after his father Nasri, three sisters, two brothers, a cousin, and 14 young nieces and nephews were killed during the ongoing war.
Speaking about Ahmed’s tragic loss, Madeley said: ‘Let’s go through that slowly. How close were you to your brothers?’
Ahmed replied: ‘Very close. Very, very close.’
Ahmed lost 20 family members in an air stike (Picture: ITV)
Madeley continued: ‘Were they older or younger than you?
Ahmed responded: ‘One younger and one older.’
Madeley probed: ‘And a big feature of your life?’
Looking stunned, Ahmed said: ‘Of course. We grew up together. We lived all of our life together.’
Madeley was slammed for asking Ahmed if he was ‘close’ to his family (Picture: ITV)
One fan fumed: ‘DID RICHARD MADELEY JUST ASK A PALESTINIAN MP IF SHE KNEW ABOUT THE ATTACKS BEFORE IT HAPPENED?? Absolutely VILE and OFFENSIVE! He should apologise or be taken off #GMB.’
Madeley later issued an apology, with a Good Morning Britain spokesperson saying: ‘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.’
Moran has since spoken out and said she’s accepted Madeley’s apology, noting the question came from a ‘place of ignorance’ but wasn’t asked with any malice.
The conflict began at the start of October (Picture: JACK GUEZ / AFP)
Madeley was also branded ‘insensitive’ last week on GMB as he interviewed the son of a Hamas kidnapping victim, who is still being held hostage.
After footage showing one of the released hostages shaking hands with a Hamas militant, Madeley asked him whether he felt ‘comforted’ by hearing how some of the hostages had been treated.
‘Richard Madeley, yet another display of interviewing with the sensitivity of a brick,’ one social media user fumed.
The Rafah border was opened to allow civilians safe passage out of Gaza (Picture: MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images)
Madeley’s comments came after the Israel-Hamas conflict began on October 7, when the terrorist group took dozens of hostages and launched attacks into southern Israel.
At least 1,400 people were killed, many of them civilians, and thousands more injured, while more than 5,700 people have since been killed in the Gaza strip, including 2,360 children, and 5,364 people have been injured due to Israel’s ongoing attacks.
In the latest update on Tuesday, the Rafah border crossing from Gaza to Egypt was opened to allow civilians safe passage out of Gaza.
The Qatar-mediated agreement between Egypt, Israel and Hamas, in coordination with the US, will allow a number of foreign passport holders and the critically wounded safe passage out of Gaza.
The news came as around 50 people were reportedly killed by an air strike at the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza as the UN warned children in the Strip are dying of thirst.
The Hamas-run health ministry said at least 150 other people have been wounded by what it says is an Israeli air strike, which it denounced as a ‘horrific massacre’.
The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has claimed responsibility for the attack which was done to kill the commander of Hamas’s Central Jabaliya Battalion, Ibrahim Biari.
Metro.co.uk has contacted ITV and Madeley’s reps for comment.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.
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There have been repeated calls for him to be sacked.