Chairman of the Conservative Party James Cleverly was on BBC Breakfast today were he was grilled by Munchetty. It comes after tensions rose in the House of Commons last night as Parliament resumed after the Prime Minister’s proroguing of Parliament was deemed unlawful by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
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Boris Johnson was urged to curb his “dangerous” language including using words like “surrender” as Labour MP Paula Sherriff referred to Jo Cox, a Labour MP who was murdered in 2016.
The Prime Minister described Sherriff’s words as “humbug” and also said: “The best way to honour the memory of Jo Cox and indeed the best way to bring this country together would be, I think, to get Brexit done.”
Johnson’s words were met with outcry from some, with Mrs Cox’s husband Brendan Cox tweeting: “Feel a bit sick at Jo’s name being used in this way. The best way to honour Jo is for all of us (no matter our views) to stand up for what we believe in, passionately and with determination. But never to demonise the other side and always hold onto what we have in common.”
Subsequently, Munchetty began by probing Cleverly on whether he was “proud” of his Party and the government following on from Wednesday evening.
“Are you proud to be part of this government considering the way it is behaving in Parliament, particularly in relation to yesterday?” she grilled after playing the MP clips of students criticising MPs’ behaviour when it came to Brexit.
Cleverly replied: “I think those student voice encapsulate those points I was making. They are clearly frustrated.
“That first voice that we heard, said that we’ve come back after the period for party conferences and the conversation isn’t progressing.”
He went on: “What people tell me is they us delivering on their priorities, they want this resolved, they don’t want us just rowing, they want the government to deliver.
Munchetty grew more vexed as she believed Cleverly to be avoiding giving a “straight” answer to her questions.
“Are you frustrated with your leader?” she asked.
“The Prime Minister is moving heaven and earth to try and get a deal to get Brexit resolved in a way we get it through the House of Commons,” Cleverly began.
But Munchetty interjected: “Are you going to answer my questions?”
“I am,” Cleverly insisted as Munchetty retorted: “You’re not. I’m asking you if you’re frustrated with your leader.
“I’ve asked you if you’re proud to be part of this government, I’ve asked you if you’d use the language that he has used.
“You’ve not answered any of those questions directly.”
Cleverly continued: “Yes I am proud of my Prime Minster because he’s trying to resolve the key issue of the day. We’re seeing complete indecision from the Labour Party, we’re seeing the Lib Dems saying that they will overturn the largest electoral event in British history.
“Yes, I am proud to support a Prime Minister who is trying to deliver what we all promised the British people, which was to honour the result of that referendum result.
“I am proud of the government which is investing in police, investing in the NHS, investing in teachers and the education system, transport and the digital infrastructure of the country and I am absolutely frustrated that after three years and over 500 hours of parliamentary debate there are still some people that would rather go round in that circular argument, the inconclusive argument about Brexit rather than help deliver and move on.”
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One.