Monday 21 May 2018

WATCH: Politician calls Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan 'sexist' for asking 'pub quiz questions'

Adam Withnall

The shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry has accused Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan of “sexism” after she failed to name the French Foreign Minister live on TV.

Ms Thornberry was discussing plans to visit France and Germany on the Sky News Murnaghan programme, when the presenter asked her if she knew the name of Jean-Marc Ayrault, France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

“Don’t start pub-quizzing me, Dermot,” was Ms Thornberry’s initial response, before Murnaghan repeated: “Well, he’s the French Foreign Minister, do you know his name? No, she said. And I’m not going to start answering your questions on this.”

The question sparked a fiery exchange, in which Ms Thornberry took issue with Murnaghan’s “attitude towards [her]”.

Referring to a similar exchange when she was shadow Defence Secretary, Ms Thornberry said: “You know what really upsets me, you do this with me, I don’t remember you doing it with anybody else. Have you done it to David Davis? Do Sky journalists have a go at Boris Johnson on this basis? How about Liam Fox?”

At the end of the interview, Ms Thornberry returned to the issue. She was speaking about how there was “more to be done” across society to deal with “racism, antisemitism or sexism”.

“…And sometimes when it comes to sexism, some Sky presenters need to look at themselves too,” she said.

She added that the questions were “patronising”, before Murnaghan defended himself saying: “You are the shadow Foreign Secretary, and he is the French Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, who Boris Johnson has met now several times.”

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