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Miriam González Durántez’s Theresa May interview misses the mark on Today

30 December 2015

11:55 AM

30 December 2015

11:55 AM

This week the Today show is being edited by a selection of guests including Sir Bradley Wiggins, Lord Browne and the architect David Adjaye. The Welsh actor Michael Sheen kicked proceedings off on Monday when he managed to upset a number of flood victims as he dismissed calls to cut foreign aid in order to spend more on flood defences at home as a’false dichotomy’.

Today it was the turn of Miriam González Durántez — the high-flying lawyer who is married to Nick Clegg — to take the helm. Durántez — who had presenters in a spin last week over whether it was okay to refer to her as Nick Clegg’s wife — gave her edit a distinctly feminist focus as she looked at topics that touch on the Inspiring Women campaign she runs. As well as a reading from Gloria Steinem, praise for Hillary Clinton and James Blunt talking about sensitivity, she even secured an interview with one of Parliament’s most powerful women; Theresa May.

So, what did she choose to put to May during the Home Secretary’s rare appearance on the Today show? Well, during the meeting of the Sisterhood they discussed an array of topics including shoes, underlining briefs, May’s husband, Miriam’s husband and leadership ambitions.

The interview was led by a giggling Miriam who kicked the interview off with a discussion on scrutiny that comes from being in the public eye:

MD: You obviously like shoes, so do I. I actually think I think better in high heels — it’s not only that I like them. Does it really bother you when people pick on that? I understand why, but does it bother you in relation to girls and women who may be thinking about getting into politics and may be a bit put off by the fact, they would be looking at absolutely everything — what they’re wearing, not only what they’re thinking

TM: I think that often what puts some women off is the intrusion into the private life that can come with being in politics but I think there’s a wider issue which is about young girls today. All too often the sort of images that they’re given are images about looks rather than about what people have achieved and what they are doing

They then moved on to another pressing matter: does May underline her briefing papers?

MD: I have worked with female politicians and I know many female politicians and something I’ve noticed is that something that always captures my intention is that they seem to underline their briefing papers which is indeed something which I do myself. Do you underline your briefing notes? Do you over-prepare? Is there something there about a certain lack of self-confidence?

TM: I think there’s often a general female trait of wanting to look at the detail in order to get that confidence to go forward. I’m afraid I don’t underline my briefing papers. I do spot the typos and the grammatical errors though.


The pair then discussed May’s husband, EU migration and May’s leadership ambitions:

MD: My very last question is: that little girl who is somewhere there, is she dreaming of becoming the next British Prime Minister?

TM: She’s dreaming of carrying on doing a good job in the Home Office.

Alas for all of González Durántez’s good intentions to right the wrongs of sexism, her efforts appeared to backfire. The interview left many riled listeners exasperated by the topics covered:

It led Anna Soubry, the minsiter for small business, to call for the guest-edit slot to be scrapped altogether after the ’embarrassing’ interview:

Even Today show host Justin Webb appeared bemused by the exchange as he went on the mic after the interview. ‘Well she put the questions didn’t she? Though not necessarily getting all the answers,’ he quipped.

Somehow Mr S suspects the presenters won’t be too sad when the show returns to its usual format as of next week.


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