Susanna Reid criticised for ‘appalling’ heckling mid-interview – when that's her job

Susanna Reid criticised for ‘appalling’ heckling mid-interview – when that's her job
Susanna Reid interrupts interview with Tory MP to heckle government ministers
Good Morning Britain/ITV

Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid has come under fire for interrupting an interview with a Conservative MP to heckle government ministers, even though other broadcasters have shouted questions without facing online criticism.

Ms Reid was speaking to former minister Victoria Atkins during Tuesday’s edition of the programme, with Ms Atkins answering a question, when the journalist could be heard directing a question at current chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

As the ex-health secretary walked towards the front door of Downing Street, Ms Reid asked: “Will you keep your job, Mr Hunt?”

She then turned back to the camera and added: “I’m so sorry to interrupt, Victoria, and you were making an important point about the new prime minister’s family values. I just wanted to draw the viewers’ attention to the fact that the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, went in.”

Though it wasn’t the only heckle Ms Reid shouted this morning, as moments later Penny Mordaunt – the leader of the House of Commons – arrived on the scene.

“What words have you got for Liz Truss on her final day? Will you get a new job under the new prime minister,” she shouted.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

As Ms Atkins laughed away in the Westminster studio, Ms Reid explained that the politician “knows the drill” in that it is “our obligation to put the questions” to cabinet ministers.

Referencing her earpiece, the Lincolnshire MP joked: “It was even louder for me than it is for them.”

And some Twitter users weren’t impressed by Ms Reid’s heckling:

Yet the ITV journalist isn’t the only member of the media to have shouted questions at cabinet ministers making their way in and out of No 10. Back in May, Sky’s deputy political editor Sam Coates received widespread praise for his heckling outside Downing Street.

In a 60-second compilation, Mr Coates asked then-prime minister Boris Johnson if he “lied at the dispatch box”, and quizzed Anne-Marie Trevelyan on whether the cabinet talked about the Partygate scandal, or it was “easier to hear no evil and see no evil”.

“Many important matters to discuss,” Ms Trevelyan replied, to which Mr Coates quipped back, “I bet there are”.

In other words, keep shouting the important questions at government representatives, Ms Reid – but maybe make sure your interviewees have taken out their earpieces first.

It is a simple and fundamental principle that the government derives its democratic legitimacy from the people. The future of the country must not be decided by plotting and U-turns at Westminster; it must be decided by the people in a general election. And for this reason The Independent is calling for an election to be held. Have your say and sign our election petition by clicking here.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)