GMB backlash as ITV blasted for giving Shamima Begum ‘a platform’

Shamima Begum comments on the ‘fight against terrorism’

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Shamima Begum, who left Britain as a schoolgirl to join Isis, has said she understands the public anger towards her in a podcast series. The 23-year-old has been held in a Syrian detention camp since the Isis caliphate was defeated. Shamima is in a legal battle with the British government to try and have her citizenship restored, but Good Morning Britain viewers blasted ITV for giving her “airtime”.

Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard were debating with two guests whether Shamima should have a podcast on Wednesday’s instalment of Good Morning Britain.

The debate comes in the wake of Shamima’s BBC podcast being launched to retrace her journey.

Kate was asking her guests if the podcast will shed a light on what happened to her or if it was inappropriate to give her a platform.

Andrew Drury, a director who spent 18 months with Shamima, told Kate: “She has a different side every time we meet her.

“The stuff we heard on her podcast is different to what she told me which means she has either lied to me or lied to them or told a different story to them. So how much can we believe her?”

The 10-part BBC podcast launched on Wednesday and features investigative journalist Josh Baker.

Andrew continued: “I believed her for six or seven months until I looked at all the footage.”

However, another guest felt there was a huge amount of interest in Shamima’s story and claimed “people want to know” about her life.

Viewers hit out on Twitter over the debate, with Nanny fuming: “Why are we giving her more airtime? She did her crime now let’s have her stay in Syria.

“She’s not welcome, she is fooling these people with her pity story and she is a monster #gmb.”

Steve added: “#GMB why are we even giving this traitor a platform, especially with license payers’ cash?”

Wendy Smith raged: “Shouldn’t give her any time at all, she made her choice.”

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@Star_LFC commented: “Why why why are you still giving airtime to her? Seriously.” (sic)

However, other viewers had contrasting opinions, with Tessa Rose penning: “I still think she’s our problem and should be trialled here.

“Our government allowed her to be groomed/indoctrinated so she’s our problem. We let this happen, so we need to deal with it. #GMB.”

Scott added: “She can have a podcast if she wants, it’s up to you whether you listen or not. #GMB”

ITV has been contacted for comment by on the matter.

A BBC spokesperson said “at a time when there is a public interest in the situation”, Josh Baker “forensically tested Shamima’s account and carefully retraced her route from London to Syria”.

“It’s not a platform for her to give her story, but a robust investigation,” it added.

Good Morning Britain airs on weekdays between 6am and 9am on ITV.

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