Are you planning on attending a pub quiz this week? Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry would like to know, and she’s here to help – just so long as the bonus round isn’t ‘names of world’s foreign ministers’.
Thornberry provided us with the car-crash interview of the weekend when she was questioned by Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News about the Labour Party’s position on Brexit. In response to Murnaghan asking her if she knew the name of the French foreign minister, Thornberry said, ‘Don’t start pub quizzing me, Dermot’. When the question was repeated, Thornberry said: ‘No, and I’m not going to start answering your questions on this.’
The interview reached its cringe-worthy peak when Thornberry failed to provide the name or gender of the president of South Korea. She then launched into several angry rants, before accusing Murnaghan of sexism. ‘I certainly think sometimes, when it comes to sexism, some Sky presenters need to look at themselves, too’, she said.
Thornberry accused Murnaghan of being ‘patronising’ and of questioning her differently to male politicians. Which is nonsense, given that Murnaghan once famously caught out then shadow chancellor Alan Johnson in 2011 when quizzing him about national-insurance rates.
Thornberry is simply playing the ‘sexism’ card to cover up her own failings. Had Murnaghan asked her about techniques for getting stains out of fabric, or ‘who she was wearing’ that day, that might have been sexist. But she is shadow foreign secretary and Murnaghan asked her questions pertinent to her role. As a journalist, he is supposed to quiz politicians and hold them to account.