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Saturday 22 September 2018

TV presenter Robert Peston says he never meant to suggest that Ireland 'undermined' Britain

TV presenter Robert Peston
TV presenter Robert Peston

Rachel Farrell

ITV presenter Robert Peston has taken to Twitter to clarify comments made on his show on Sunday about Ireland “undermining” Britain.

Mr Peston said he "would never say" that "Ireland has a history of undermining Britain".

On Wednesday, he tweeted: "I did not say that. I would never say that. What I said was there is a history of British governments being torn apart by policy towards Ireland- & Brexit may do that again."

He also posted a transcript of the interview with Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Brexiteer MP.

In their conversation on Sunday morning, Peston started out by saying: "I mean you are a student of British history. Ireland has undermined, the issue of Ireland in so many different ways,  undermined British governments you know going back well over 100 years now. I think we're..."

He was interrupted by Rees-Moggs, who said: "Much longer than that, much more than 100 years. It's a very long and complex history, that's absolutely true and that's why there's so much determination not to have a hard border, not to have a physical infrastructure. But that is within our gift, we don't have to impose one."

Journalist Charlotte Edwards responded to Peston's clarification positively, saying that "Twitter is such a bandwagon that too many people deliberately misunderstood this- presumably for the adrenaline rush of experiencing false outrage."

The original alleged remark received backlash during the week, with DUP MP Ian Paisley responding that "Britain has underwritten Ireland for 1000 years!". 

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