Oh dear. It’s fair to say that Emily Thornberry’s appearance on Sky News this morning did not go to plan. The shadow Foreign Secretary — and shadow Brexit Secretary — appeared on Murnaghan to discuss Labour’s stance on Brexit.
Discussing her brief, Thornberry — who is married to Sir Christopher Nugee — slammed the government’s Brexit efforts while bigging up her own work telling officials in Brussels that there are still reasonable people in Britain. So, just who has Lady Nugee been speaking to? While it remains unclear, what is clear is that France’s foreign minister is not on that list. When Dermot Murnaghan asked her if she was in touch with Jean-Marc Ayrault, he received a curious response:
DM: I mean, have you called the French foreign secretary for instance?
ET: No, but we’re in the process of arranging for me to go to France and Germany
DM: Do you know who he is?
ET: Don’t start pub quizzing me, Dermot. Don’t start pub quizzing me.
DM: He’s the French Foreign Minister. Do you know his name?
ET: No. and I’m not going to start answering your questions on this.
Thornberry then accused Murnaghan of… sexism:
‘Do you know what, Dermot. Do you know what really….upsets me about your attitude to me? You do this with me. I don’t remember you doing it with anybody else, you know. Have you ever done it to David Davis? Have Sky journalists ever had a go at Boris Johnson on this basis? How about Liam Fox, have you had pub quizzes with him? I mean, honestly. Can we talk about some serious stuff. Why don’t we talk about Syria? How about we talk about Nouth Korea? You really want to spend this time pub quizzing me? What’s with you? Sunday morning, honestly.
Sometimes when it comes to sexism, some Sky presenters need to look at themselves too. It really upsets me that every time I come on here you do another pub quiz with me because you do not do it with anybody else and I do think it’s patronising.’
Strangely enough, Mr S reckons interviews about Brexit can be classed as ‘serious stuff’. What’s more, Steerpike suspects that the shadow Foreign Secretary ought to be expected to know the name of the French foreign minister – regardless of gender.