Good Morning Britain viewers were quick to complain about Ed Balls and co-host Kate Garraway’s “shocking bias” as the presenters interviewed a veteran protester who demonstrated against King Charles III’s coronation.
Peter Thatchell was a guest on Monday’s edition of the ITV show, discussing the event as well as the Met Police’s response to peaceful protesters.
The discussion came about after reports came in that 64 people were arrested – sparking some backlash as people defended their right for free speech.
Peter went on to detail how “disappointed” and “angry” he was at the police at the event, alleging that an agreement was in place to allow people to protest. Speaking on the show, he said: “We’re very disappointed and angry at police behaviour. In the weeks prior, Republic had negotiated with the police and secured the agreement that a protest could take place.
“They even designated the spot in Trafalgar Square. But on the day before the protests even began the six key organisers of the Republic were all arrested on fake charges by the police – and several hundred people who were trying to go to the square were blocked.”
While Peter attempted to continue his story, Kate interrupted with: “What were the charges and why were they fake?”
Later in the interview, Kate also went on to defend the actions of the police – complaining that police would have been branded “hopeless” for not dealing with escalating situations. She added: “Can I just say because the Met Police aren’t here, they’re sort of damned if they do and damned in they don’t, aren’t they?
“I appreciate you saying you were never going to use the megaphones, if they had not taken the megaphones and something had gone wrong or if they hadn’t been pre-empted, we would have said how hopeless the Met Police were for that.”
Ed later also chimed in claiming that: “police clearly had intelligence,” with Peter refuting this.
And viewers of the morning programme were left furious by the alleged ‘bias’ of the hosts while talking to their guest, taking to social media to vent. One wrote: “Disappointing from @edballs – would once have been unfathomable that such a Labour guy would so stridently support repression of democratic dissent. But not now? #GMB.”
Another said: “So disappointed in @edballs. Can’t believe he doesn’t understand the issue with stopping protest/free speech in a supposed ‘democracy’.
“Whether you agree with a cause or not it’s worrying. I don’t expect better from Kate Garraway but him #GMB.”
A third penned: “Kate is just embarrassing,” while a fifth, echoed: “What is wrong with Kate Garraway this morning – overly defending the police over the peaceful #NotMyKing @RepublicStaff protesters being arrested & getting personally offended over that the #Coronation wasn’t worth it debate. Feels a bit biased to me. #GMB @GMB.”
Another social media user said: “This was really unbalanced this morning, I’m afraid the prejudice stood out like a sore thumb.”
Kate has since responded to some criticism on social media, defending her actions. Responding to one Twitter user’s complaint: “FFS get a grip @kategarraway and @edballs trying to justify the police arresting coronation protesters,” she responded: “It’s not justifying – it’s called balancing a debate and putting an argument forward for our guests to respond to which is @edballs & I’s job!!!!”
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