Richard Madeley clashed with a Good Morning Britain guest on Wednesday’s show when he was accused of “demonising” the NHS with his words.
The presenter and co-host Kate Garraway were discussing Lib Dem leader Ed Davy’s plans to help the NHS to recover following the pandemic with Dr Hilary Jones and commentators Kevin Maguire and Andrew Pierce.
During the discussion, Richard posed the question: “Do you think we have reached the point where this sprawling great web that we call the National Health Service, wonderful though it is, needs root and branch reform? We need to clear all this up in one great big service.”
Kevin immediately took issue with Richard’s choice of words, responding: “It’s very pejorative to call it a big sprawling web.”
“Well it is a huge organisation,” Richard said.
“That’s how people begin to demonise it and run it down,” Kevin continued.
“I’m not demonising it, I’m describing it as what it is,” Richard insisted.
“It’s a precious public service. It’s a matter of life and death for many people,” Kevin went on, with Richard saying he “couldn’t agree more”.
Kevin said: “It’s huge and you need managers to run it, I’m not going to say it’s all run well, but you need it.”
He then added: “You’ve got to remember the NHS performs miracles for people everyday. I just think your language there demonises it.”
Richard said: “I do think, and I’m putting myself in the firing line here, if somebody like me – anybody – without an agenda, is going to say, is it time we took a root and branch look at how the NHS works and how it is funded, to then say that’s demonising the NHS shuts down discussion.”
Kevin said: “Alright, alright, when you say have a root and branch look at how it is funded, what do you mean? Pay privately?”
“I hope not,” Richard replied, to which Kevin said: “So then it’s got to be paid from taxation.”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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