Andy Hayman moans about select committee treatment

"There was cat-calling, there was loud laughter from the wings of Chris Bryant. It was an appalling

Poor old Andy Hayman. He might give the impression of being a hard-as-nails, Sweeney-style copper, but actually he's a sensitive soul, easily hurt by the cat calls of the notorious bully Chris Bryant (a former priest). Here's what he told LBC Radio this morning (via Andrew Sparrow at the Guardian).

I've been through the mill several times in court, in journalistic interviews. I've never been treated like yesterday. There was cat-calling, there was loud laughter from the wings of Chris Bryant. It was an appalling display from them. The irony really is that they don't like being treated in this way disproportionately and yet they're prepared to put us through that.

I think all four of us were up for tough questioning, but not on that sort of basis. And to be accused, as I was, of being a dodgy geezer, which is probably on the basis on my accent, I think that's a really poor show ...

Despite trying to actually be helpful to them, all they want to do is score points and most of that is political and with this sort of lynch mob mentality. Bring on the formal inquiry with a respectable judge, when we can actually get some sense out of this. But what we've actually got here is a very, very senior, I guess you could call it a court. It's non-negotiable to be able to go there and when you go along there, you're treated like a bit of dirt.

I'm not asking for special treatment, I just ask for a little bit of respect and not to be [treated] basically as a product because of the way in which you speak.

Bless!

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.