Susanna Reid praised for shutting down frustrated Nigel Farage on GMB

Susanna Reid has been praised by Good Morning Britain viewers for her conduct during a heated discussion with Nigel Farage.

Farage, the Reform UK party leader and parliamentary candidate for Clacton, appeared on Tuesday’s edition (18 June) of the ITV morning news programme.

Ahead of the General Election on 4 July, Reid and co-host Ed Balls pressed Farage on several aspects of his campaign, namely the online activities of some of the party’s candidates.

Revelations involving Reform UK candidates include links to British fascist leader Gary Raikes to suggestions the UK should have remained neutral in the fight against the Nazis and admiration of Hitler’s “brilliant” ability to inspire action.

At one stage, Farage grew frustrated when Reid and Balls requested clarification surrounding Reform UK’s tax proposals, calling it “typical”.

“What do you mean ‘this is so typical?’” Reid fired back. “Being asked questions and asked to answer them?”

Reid continued: “You’ve defended 41 [candidates] found to be social media friends [with] a fascist leader, a former organiser for the British National Party, who founded the New British Union in the image of Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists.

“How can you defend 41 candidates for your party found to be his social media friends?”

Farage stated: “Most of our candidates are not political sophisticates. Having said that, like the Green Party, like other parties, we’ve had one or two slip through the net that shouldn’t have done.” He then noted that the party paid “a very large sum of money” to a vetting company that failed to identify these candidates’ problematic links.

“It doesn’t take a vetting company to check who is who’s friend on Facebook,” Reid replied, before Farage claimed: “People like each other on Facebook without knowing who they’re liking.”

“I think knowing who your friends are is quite an important test of your character. I am not friends with any fascist leaders on Facebook, I can absolutely assure you of that,” Reid retorted.

Elsewhere in the discussion, Reid mentioned a candidate who claimed the UK “would be far better if it had taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality instead of fighting the Nazis in World War II” and that “we need to exorcise the cult of Churchill”, calling the wartime prime minister’s leadership “abysmal”.

Susanna Reid and Nigel Farage (ITV / screengrab)
Susanna Reid and Nigel Farage (ITV / screengrab)

“Are you proud about all of your candidates, Nigel Farage?” she asked.

With a raised voice, Farage replied: “By the way, people are allowed, in a free society, to have different opinions. I disagree vehemently [with the argument] that we should not have participated in World War II, but once your name’s on the ballot paper, it cannot be removed.”

Following the broadcast, many viewers shared their thoughts on the exchange on social media, with many declaring Farage to have struggled with his responses to Reid’s questioning.

“Nigel Farage has just had an absolute nightmare on @GMB,” one person wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Others critiqued Farage’s debating abilities. “His arguments crumple like a wet paper bag any time he’s exposed to even the slightest scrutiny,” one X user wrote. “He then switches into the aggressive head-thrusting, finger-jabbing nastiness that’s always lurking just underneath the phoney hail-fellow-well-met facade.”

Elsewhere, some viewers praised Reid’s interview skills, with one writing: “Susanna Reid is probably the only GMB presenter that is capable of interviewing high-profile politicians. Indeed she crucified Nigel Farage, well done Susanna.”

You can keep up with The Independent’s coverage of the general election here.