Labour’s shadow Foreign Minister has accused a presenter on Sky News of “sexism” after he asked, and she failed, to name the French Foreign Minister and the South Korean president.
“Sometimes when it comes to sexism, some Sky presenters need to look at themselves, too,” said Emily Thornberry, a left-wing supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, as she deflected questions on anti-Semitism in the party, arguing that bigotry is widespread in society, not just in the Labour party.
In the tense exchange with Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan, she added: “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”.
Mr. Murnaghan insisted his questions were relevant things to ask a Shadow Foreign Secretary. Mrs. Thornberry replied: “Let’s take this off air because I’ve got a lot to say to you and I don’t think a lot of it ought to be broadcast.”
Shortly before, the Sky News presenter had asked if she “knew the name” of her French counterpart, Marc Ayrault, who she said she was planning to meet. “Stop pub quizzing me. No, and I’m not going to start answering your questions on this,” she replied.
Adding: “Can we talk about some serious stuff – why don’t we talk about Syria, North Korea – you really want to spend this time pub quizzing me?”
“Well let’s talk about North Korea then … what about the South Korean president then, do you know the name?” Mr. Murnaghan replied. She then rolled her eyes and ignored the question.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) September 11, 2016
She went on to imply that she had only been asked the questions because she is a woman, and that male, Tory ministers like David Davis and Liam Fox had not been exposed to the same level of scrutiny on the news channel.
“Do Sky journalists have a go at Boris Johnson on this basis? How about Liam Fox? Do you do pub quizzes with them?” she asked. “I mean honestly, you really want to spend time on this stuff? What’s with you?” she asked.
Mrs. Thornberry hit the headlines in 2014 when she mocked a working-class household in Rochester for having a white van and displaying Saint George’s Cross flags.
She was forced to resign from the Labour front benches and later told the Mail Online: “It was a house covered in British flags. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
“It had three huge flags covering the whole house. I thought it was remarkable. I’ve never seen a house completely covered in flags.”
— Emily Thornberry (@EmilyThornberry) November 20, 2014