Sophy Ridge tells Tory MP that she doesn't understand her answers
Work and Pension Secretary Therese Coffey had to endure an intense grilling on Sunday morning during her appearance on The Sophy Ridge on Sunday Show on Sky News.
Coffey was asked about Boris Johnson's awareness of the sexual assault allegations against Tory MP Chris Pincher, who eventually had the whip suspended against him on Friday afternoon.
Although Coffey insisted that the prime minister was not aware of any specific claims made against Pincher, the language she used in her questioning left Ridge slightly baffled.
Coffey said: "It's been suggested there was a discussion, a referral to Pet (propriety and ethics) - which happens with all ministerial appointments, there's an element of a bit of vetting that goes on - but ultimately the decision is that of the Prime Minister."
"Sorry, I'm still not really clear," said Ridge before asking again if Johnson was aware of the allegations against Pincher. When Coffey replied that she wasn't involved in any of the direct conversations around this matter, an exasperated Ridge replied "Why don't you ask? I get that perhaps it's easier to come on to one of these programmes and say 'I don't know' but surely you must ask to try and find out. That's the first thing that most people would do."
Coffey replied: "As I've just laid out, it's been suggested that things were referred when somebody rang the prime minister, particularly on Friday he agreed with the chief whip that the whip should be suspended."
Ridge fires back: "I genuinely don't understand that sentence." When asked to explain herself again Coffey gave a very similar answer which caused Ridge to again question the answer. "You don't need to apologise, I'm just going to give you the same answer Sophy," Coffey clapped back.
The intensely awkward exchange left many viewers scratching their heads as to what they had just witnessed.
\u201cWhat a mess this Government is\ud83d\udc47\u201d
\u201cIt\u2019s actually physically difficult to watch this video. But what I\u2019ve learned is that she\u2019s not aware if someone was aware but there was a process that was referred and she\u2019s not really connected or aware or possibly sentient\u201d
\u201cI'm not sure there's a more unedifying spectacle than the government patsy of the day lamely spouting the lines to take in London's TV and radio studios. Absolutely risible. Defending the indefensible, when everyone knows you're full of shit and sent out to take the flak.\u201d
— Kate Bevan \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Kate Bevan \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6)
\u201c\ud83e\udd14 \u201cI genuinely don\u2019t understand that sentence\u2026I don\u2019t understand that answer, forgive me\u201d\n\n\ud83e\udd37\u200d\u2640\ufe0f \u201cYou don\u2019t need to apologise but I\u2019m just going to give you the same answer\u201d\n\nFairly excruciating exchanges between @SophyRidgeSky and @theresecoffey \u201d