TRADE union leader Mick Lynch’s media appearances are cutting through effectively with a public which sees him “speaking truth to power in a way that the media has failed to”, an expert has told The National.

Lynch, the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) general secretary, has been praised widely for the no-nonsense approach to the broadcast interviews he has given as rail strikes hit across the UK.

The union man made headlines after he repeatedly called Tory minister Chris Philp a liar on Newsnight, questioned why Sky News’s Kay Burley was determined to ask him what picketing involved, and accused Good Morning Britain's Richard Madeley of talking "twaddle" after a question on whether he was a "Marxist"

Lynch further calmly dismissed Piers Morgan’s line of questioning involving Lynch’s use of a Thunderbirds puppet as his private Facebook profile picture, and said Tory backbencher Jonathan Gullis was reading from “a script” prepared in the Tory central office on the BBC’s Politics Live.

The trade union leaders’ media appearances have won him praise from disparate figures including actor Hugh Laurie and former Tory minister Rory Stewart.

Laurie wrote: “I don’t know enough about the rail dispute. I only observe that RMT’s Mick Lynch cleaned up every single media picador who tried their luck.”

Stewart added: “Mick Lynch is proving a pretty remarkable media performer – with an uncanny knack of flustering his questioners – others should study his techniques.”

READ MORE: Who is Mick Lynch? Meet the trade unionist showing up the London media

Dr Inge Sorensen, a media policy lecturer at Glasgow University, told The National that Lynch’s appearances saw him “speaking truth to power in a way that the media has failed to”.

Sorensen said that people feel that a “balance and impartiality agenda has got in the way” of truly holding the UK Government to account over its “illegalities or transgressions”. She said Lynch’s straightforward approach provided a contrast to the usual media output.

“He’s kept calling out what he sees as lies, and also calling them lies, and I think people really respond to [that],” Sorensen said.

She agreed that the contrast with Westminster, where MPs are admonished for calling the Prime Minister a liar, had helped Lynch cut through to the public.

“You can’t do that [call someone a liar] in Parliament but you can do that in the media,” she said. “I think people feel that the balance and impartiality agenda has got in the way of calling out some of these things that … the Tories have got away with so to speak. It’s about time somebody called a spade a spade here.”

While Lynch publicly accused Boris Johnson-loyalist Gullis of reading from “a script” he said had been prepared at Tory HQ, the trade union man himself comes across as “utterly human”, Christina McIntyre, a journalism lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University, told The National.

Lynch’s appearances contrast with politicians who during media appearances “sit on the fence, obviate and rarely give straight answers”, she said.

“This is not a man who pulls his punches, he doesn’t waffle on or avoid questions.

“When he’s asked something he thinks is ridiculous he shows it, he’ll show a small smile or smirk as the question is being asked.

“This man is a shrewd media operator and we could do with seeing more like him, if, for nothing else, to enjoy seeing ill-considered or downright cocky ‘show hosts’ be taken down a peg or five.”

She said that Lynch’s use of humour and refusal to take “s*** from interviewers” helped him come across as a “man of the people”.

Addressing Lynch’s appearance on Piers Morgan’s TalkTV show, the broadcast lecturer said the host had “done himself absolutely no favours by devoting over two minutes at the start of an interview on Lynch’s choice of profile picture – ‘The Hood’, on Facebook”.

“Lynch’s barely concealed amusement or contempt must have been shared by many viewers. Morgan’s repeated attempts to rile all failed, leaving him flailing about and prompted Lynch to start questioning his interviewer as to why his level of journalism had descended so far.

“The score at the end of that interview was clearly one nil to Lynch.”

Asked what politicians could learn from the RMT boss's media interviews, McIntyre added: "Use good but simple English, know your stuff, and don’t be afraid to call out interviewers who make incendiary comments. Be ‘amused’ by them and show it.

"It’s not about answering questions, it’s about making the viewer think you’ve answered the question.

"I always believed Alex Salmond to be one of the best media operators in the business. He too had Lynch-like qualities and was one of the most feared orators in the House of Commons – smart, fearless, eloquent, yet called a spade a spade."