UK-Palestinian MP accepts Richard Madeley's apology over GMB questions
19th October 2023

UK-Palestinian MP Layla Moran says Richard Madeley’s question if she ‘had any indication’ about Hamas’ terror attack on Israel came from ‘place of ignorance’ – as she reveals she’s accepted GMB star’s apology

  • Layla Moran said she did not want the incident to distract from the big issues

A British-Palestinian MP who has extended family in Gaza said Richard Madeley’s question on GMB about if she had ‘any indication’ Hamas would attack came from a ‘place of ignorance’.

Layla Moran said she believed the broadcaster’s line of questioning as he asked whether there was ‘any word on the street’ ahead of Hamas’s attack was not out of malice. 

She said she had accepted his apology and did not want the incident to distract from the big issues. 

A spokesman for the ITV show said Madeley was ‘sorry that he upset viewers’  during the conversation with the Liberal Democrat MP.

They said the TV presenter ‘did not mean to imply that she or her family might have had any prior knowledge of the attacks’.

Layla Moran said she believed Richard Madeley’s line of questioning was not out of malice

The MP said she had accepted his apology and did not want the incident to distract from the big issues

Good Morning Britain host Richard Madeley (pictured) has apologised after he sparked outrage 

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has said that members of her extended family in Gaza had their home bombed but are ‘too old’ to flee the area

Madeley asked Britain’s first British-Palestinian MP: ‘With your family connections in Gaza, did you have any indication of what was going to happen ten days ago, two weeks ago? Was there there any word on the street?’

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, killed hundreds of Israelis on October 7 during an unprecedented assault.

The Palestinian militants also took almost 200 hostages during the incursion, with Israel commencing strikes and a siege in retaliation.

Ms Moran, asked about the GMB interview during an appearance on Sky News’ Politics Hub programme on Wednesday, said: ‘I think my face at the time looked pretty flummoxed.

‘Look, the conversation as a whole over the 15-minute interview was an important one. We were looking at how we got here, where we go.

‘I didn’t feel and don’t feel that it came from a place of malice. I think it frankly came from a place of perhaps ignorance.

‘Perhaps it reminds us that in this conflict, which is complicated – this is not the slam dunk in a way that Russia-Ukraine was – this has a long history that needs to be understood and this has an important context in the wider region that needs to be understood.

‘I have accepted his apology. The main thing is that I don’t want it to distract from these big issues.’

Hamas fired rockets towards Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 11. Israel is preparing a full invasion by land, sea and air in retaliation

Smoke rises from the northern part of the Gaza Strip as a result of an Israeli airstrike. The politician says her family are in a church and too scared to move 

Good Morning Britain host Richard Madeley pictured after apologising to the British-Palestinian MP

MP Layla Moran’s family

Layla Moran is Britain’s first ever Palestinian MP.

Her immediate family are Palestinian Christians from the West Bank, while she has extended family members in Gaza City.

She has spoken about her family members being trapped in Gaza – and how she and her sister are trying to get news from their relatives every day as they run out of food and have been reduced to drinking water. 

Ms Moran’s mother Randa is Palestinian while her father James is British. He joined the EU Commission when she was one and the family moved to Brussels.

Her mother’s family are originally Greek but they moved to Palestine and then Jordan after the diaspora in the 60s. 

Her great-grandfather was the Palestinian writer Wasif Jawhariyyeh, who wrote memoirs about Palestinian life under Ottoman and British rule. 

Ms Moran spoke in Parliament on Monday about her extended family, who are Christian Palestinians living in Gaza City, having their house bombed by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), staying in a church and being ‘too old’ to flee the 25-mile strip.

During her interview with GMB, the Lib Dem foreign affairs spokeswoman spoke further about the conditions in Gaza under Israel’s siege, which has prevented food, water and other critical supplies from reaching Palestinians.

Later on in the discussion, 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 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.’

There was criticism of the remarks on social media afterwards with Peter Grant, the SNP MP for Glenrothes and Central Fife, saying: ‘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 Ms Moran has suggested to GMB she would appear again on the programme.

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