Show some patriotism on Brexit, Leadsom tells broadcasters

Leader of House of Commons says media should pull together to help secure Brexit

Britain’s Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom arrives for  a cabinet meeting at No 10 Downing Street in  London on June 20th, 2017. File photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

Britain’s Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom arrives for a cabinet meeting at No 10 Downing Street in London on June 20th, 2017. File photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

 

Prominent Brexit campaigner Andrea Leadsom, a leading member of the British government, appeared to scold a BBC presenter for showing a lack of patriotism when asked why the country was in such political turmoil.

Interviewed on the BBC Newsnight programme a year after Britain voted to leave the European Union, Andrea Leadsom was asked why the country lacked a coherent Brexit strategy and a stable government.

“You’ve got a negotiating position which is completely unclear ... we’ve got a political system which is unstable, many believe our economy is unfair, living standards are falling, what can you point to now and say that’s going well?” presenter Emily Maitlis had asked.

Pull together

Ms Leadsom, the leader of the House of Commons, said the country needed to pull together.

“It would be helpful if broadcasters were willing to be a bit patriotic. The country took a decision, this government is determined to deliver on that decision.”

Britain launched its negotiations to leave the EU this week, led by prime minister Theresa May, who has been stripped of her authority by a failure to win a majority in a June 8th election she had not needed to call.

More than two weeks after the vote, Ms May’s Conservatives have still not managed to secure a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party, a small Northern Irish group whose politicians will be needed to get legislation passed through parliament.

‘Sinister’ comments

Tim Farron, the outgoing leader of the small pro-EU Liberal Democrats party, said Ms Leadsom should apologise for her “sinister” comments. “This isn’t a George Orwell book,” he said.

Ms Leadsom sparked uproar in the weeks after the Brexit vote when, running to be leader of the Conservative party, she said the fact she was a mother meant she had a greater stake in the future than her childless rival, Ms May.

Ms Leadsom later apologised and withdrew from the race, leaving Ms May to be appointed prime minister.

Reuters