Richard Madeley's slavery comments spark hundreds of Ofcom complaints

Good Morning Britain has been hit with Ofcom complaints after Richard Madeley’s heated discussion with President of Guyana last week.

Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali appeared on the show last Wednesday to discuss his view that the UK should pay slavery reparations.

This came after the UN asked countries to consider compensation for ‘harms suffered as a result of colonialism and enslavement.’

Controversy was sparked from the debate, which became heated after Madeley, 67, asked President Ali, 43, why the UK should carry the burden for what happened years ago.

Now, the show has been hit with hundreds of complaints, dubbing Madeley’s treatment of the South American leader as ‘patronising’ and ‘disrespectful.’.

‘Oh, it’s not a burden at all. You are one of the beneficiaries of that slave trade so this is not a burden,’ President Ali replied to Madeley’s opening question.

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‘You should be concerned and you should pay because you today still benefit from the greatest indignity to the human being and that is the slave trade. 

‘And not only did you benefit during the slave trade and your country develop but look at what it cost the developing world.

‘During slavery, resources was used to build your country, build up your capacity. You were able to then become competitive, able to invest in mechanisation and developing countries like ours were left behind so you should be very concerned because you are prime beneficiaries of exploits of slavery.’

Things got even more heated when Madeley slammed the table as he said: ‘You feel that it’s not just about the finances involved but in terms of reparations to slavery.’

He continued: ‘It’s about the gestures and you think that the British royal family should make a big gesture don’t you? What do you mean hand over a palace?’

‘We don’t want the British public to hand over palaces we built,’ replied President Ali, to which Madeley could be heard laughing.

He added that in the palaces you will see ‘the sweat, blood and tears of the slaves who were exploited’.

‘So what do you want?’ questioned Madeley.

‘We’re asking for justice,’ he replied simply.

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