Richard Madeley of Good Morning Britain left many, including his co-host Susanna Reid, stunned on Wednesday, as he appeared to liken former Daesh* bride Shamima Begum to a Hitler Youth member.
The presenters of the show had weighed in on the case of Begum, who left the UK together with two other teenage girls to travel to Syria to join Daesh in 2015.
Born to Bangladeshi parents, Begum subsequently married a jihadist and gave birth to three children, who all reportedly died. The former Daesh bride was discovered by journalists in a Syrian camp in February 2019.
Britain's then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid revoked her citizenship on national security grounds. Despite the UK Court of Appeal ruling Begum should be allowed to return to the UK to plead her case, the Home Office appealed to the Supreme Court to reconsider the judgement. In February the latter upheld the ruling to prevent Begum from returning to Britain.
As Shamima Begum has been making headlines by openly regretting the choices she had made when a “dumb kid”, Richard Madeley read out a tweet that had been sent to the GMB show.
“At the age she left, making a mistake is getting a tattoo that you regret, or a one night stand. But deliberately joining a terrorist organisation that loathes and hates the country you come from and all the effort involved in getting there seems to tell a clear story to me,” read the message.
Madeley went on to say that the team had received many messages in the same vein, saying:
“There’s one interesting point I was thinking about last night. Obviously we had the Nuremberg trials after the war and we hanged quite a few Nazis and imprisoned a lot of others, and we let them out, eventually.”
The co-host then quipped:
“As far as I’m aware. We didn’t go after the Hitler Youth, we only went after adults, who had served in the Hitler regime. And that’s just something to reflect on, I think.”
Susanna Reid, who has been lead presenter of the ITV Breakfast programme Good Morning Britain alongside Ben Shephard, and formerly Piers Morgan, appeared gob smacked at the comparison.
Viewers also took to Twitter to weigh in on the unexpected metaphor and share Reid’s disbelief.
Some referenced the comedy character of an inept broadcaster portrayed by English actor Steve Coogan.
Even before the glasses get folded she can sense some Partridge gold about to happen pic.twitter.com/4dPMPqLQZj— Tillz (@BlueTillz75) June 16, 2021
Others marvelled at how Reid managed to keep her composure.
Do you think susannah hates him more than piers?— Kate (@k4ty_b) June 16, 2021
Reid thinking “Morgan…Campbell…Madeley…where did my career go wrong?”— PhillyHammer 🔥父🔥 (@PhillyHammers) June 16, 2021
I genuinely don’t know how Suzanna keeps a straight face throughout.— Anthony O'Toole (@anthonylotoole) June 16, 2021
The way she seals her lips around the 20 second mark as he brings up Nuremberg and she knows he's about to say something appalling and she mustn't react is a true pro at work.— Jozef Koztelo (@jokers_tailor) June 16, 2021
If you watch carefully, you can see Suzanna's soul leave her body— Don Nantwich (@DonNantwich) June 16, 2021l.
Some on social media appeared to agree with Richard Madeley, however.
But unlike Partridge, he has a valid point.— Sean (@Sproutlore99) June 16, 2021
He is making a valid point. Children are a product of their environment & their radicalisation by adults should be seen as a child abuse.— Anton 🏴🇬🇧🇪🇺#FBPE (@AntacsB) June 16, 2021
* Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/“Islamic State”) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and other nations