Watch: Richard Madeley clashes with Mick Lynch on GMB
The RMT general secretary appeared on the ITV breakfast show to discuss the rail strikes that are taking place across the UK this week due to the dispute over pay, redundancies and working conditions.
Madeley, 66, opened the interview by saying: "You’ve been accused severely over the past few weeks of being a Marxist.
"It happened again last night, a backbench Tory MP said you are a 'Marxist with no interest other than trying to tear down the Government.'
'It's an escalation of the dispute.'
RMT Union General Secretary Mick Lynch says Network Rail have 'escalated' the dispute by issuing a letter saying that there are going to be redundancies. pic.twitter.com/5hWrQVDQV8
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) June 21, 2022
"Now, are you, or are you not a Marxist? Because if you are a Marxist, then you’re into revolution and into bringing down capitalism. So, are you or aren’t you?"
Lynch replied: "Richard, you do come up with the most remarkable twaddle sometimes, I've got to say - opening an interview with that is nonsense."
Madeley hit back: "Woah, woah, I didn't say you are a Marxist, I'm saying that you are being accused of being a Marxist and that's called reporting!"
Lynch replied: "No I'm not a Marxist, I'm an elected official of the RMT, I'm a working class bloke leading a trade union dispute about jobs, pay, conditions and service."
Marxism is based on the political and economic theories of Karl Marx who sought to eradicate the class system and create a society where every person worked together towards a common good.
In an earlier discussion about the strikes on the show with co-host Ranvir Singh and political commentators Grace Blakeley and Ed Vaizey, Madeley blamed the miners' strike of the 1980s for destroying the mining industry.
The TV presenter said: "Many analysts would say on left and right that the mining strike destroyed the industry. I think that's a fairly broadly accepted analysis."
Blakeley retorted that is was the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who brought an end to the industry by closing the mines.
Some Good Morning Britain viewers were critical of Madeley's questions to Lynch.
One tweeted: "@GMB‘s Richard Madeley barely concealing his contempt for Mick Lynch & the RMT is disgraceful journalism. Impartiality anyone? P.s. Mr Madeley, the miners didn’t close the pits, the Tories did. #trainstrikes #RMTUnion"
Lorraine Cheshire commented: "@GMB Richard Madeley just got burned by Mick Lynch RMT,about time. It just shows how much of a bleeding ego he’s got. Mick Lynch was more than a match for him. He got the hump because he lost the argument."
And several compared Madeley's reporting style to that of comedy character Alan Partridge.
Dr Ravi tweeted: "Richard Madeley goes full-on Partridge 'Mick Lynch, are you a Marxist, yes or no?' Lynch’s response 'You do come up with a load of twaddle' TV gold!"
Another observed: "Richard Madeley in full Partridge mode this morning, interviewing RMT boss. Pure comedy #gmb"
It is not the first time Madeley has been likened to Steve Coogan's comedy character.
The GMB presenter said in 2021 he found the comparisons "funny".
Watch: Richard Madeley accuses union chief of abusing power