Yesterday evening after winning her no confidence vote, Theresa May stood up in the House of Commons and offered to hold talks with opposition parties about the Brexit negotiations. Jeremy Corbyn (despite spending the day asking why May hadn’t included Labour in the talks) declined the invitation, saying he would only meet May once she had ruled out a no-deal Brexit. Already that decision, which has left Labour open to accusations of pettiness, seems to be backfiring.
Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner was sent out on the broadcast round this morning to defend the Labour leader’s decision. But as he progressed through the studios, it was clear that Gardiner was becoming increasingly frustrated with the suggestion that Corbyn was playing party politics by refusing to meet the Prime Minister at a time of national crisis.
This came to a head on Sky News, when he has asked what Jeremy Corbyn had to lose ‘by meeting Theresa May face to face’. In response, the trade minister accused the presenter’s benign question of being ‘rather puerile’ and when his waffling response was cut short, snapped back:
‘If you want to spend the interview telling me what you think, then please continue, I’m all ears.’
Which led to an incredibly awkward silence. Watch the whole thing here:
UPDATE: Mr Steerpike may have found out why the international trade minister was in such a bad mood at the start of the day. Could it have anything to do with these interesting campaign pics unearthed by Politico’s Jack Blanchard this morning?
Just been sent this old Barry Gardiner leaflet and actually cannot stop laughing pic.twitter.com/fW9ETqX1oK
— Jack Blanchard (@Jack_Blanchard_) January 17, 2019