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12 September 2016

Ruth Davidson rebukes Emily Thornberry after the MP accuses a presenter of sexism

"Plenty of genuine sexism and misogyny in politics," tweeted the Scottish Politician, after the shadow foreign secretary claimed Sky's Dermot Murnaghan was "patronising".

By Media Mole

Sometimes, in my West Hampstead burrow, I lie awake at night and ponder which politician I’d be most afraid to annoy.

The current winner is easy. Yes, Dan Jarvis has military training, and Liz Kendall looked pretty fierce on that tank, but ultimately, I think the answer has to be Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson.

Take yesterday, for example, when shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry MP appeared on Sky’s Murnaghan programme to discuss Brexit.

Unfortunately for Thornberry, someone at Labour HQ had failed to brief her for the quickfire round. When asked if she had been part of any Brexit talks with her German and French counterparts, it became apparent she did not know the name of the French foreign minister.

“Don’t start pub quizzing me, Dermot,” she told her host, before saying, “I’m not going to start answering your questions on this.”

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She then accused Murnaghan of sexism, asking: “have you done this to David Davis? Have you asked these questions? Do Sky journalists have a go at Boris Johnson on this basis? How about Liam Fox? Do you do pub quizzes with them?”

Oof. Thornberry continued: “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.”

To which Murnaghan replied: “It’s not, because you are the shadow foreign secretary and this was about the French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault who Boris Johnson has met now several times.”

Now, this mole normally favours The Andrew Marr Show or Peston’s Politics – such a nice-looking young chap – so can’t comment on Murnaghan’s usual quizzing style.

But Davidson had some words for her fellow politician’s accusations of sexism.

Eek. Back to the burrow for me.

Watch Emily Thornberry and Dermot Murnaghan’s exchange below:

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
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