Brexiteer Bridgen clashes with Channel 4 News host over ‘irresponsible’ IRA interview

The Conservative MP was asked to comment on the new IRA’s threat that they would attack anyone on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland should any infrastructure be put in place because of Brexit. But the Tory Brexiteer condemned Channel 4 News’ decision to interview the “terror group”. He blasted host Cathy Newman: “I think that the fact that you’ve put those terror groups, self-confessed murderers on your programme and gave them the oxygen and publicity, I think it is deeply, deeply irresponsible.

“Recklessly irresponsible.

“They’re a fringe group, they barely represent themselves on the island of Ireland.

“And I think you’ve made a great mistake by having them on your programme, quite honestly.”

The Channel 4 News host attempted to defend her programme claiming the new IRA member was asked some “challenging” questions. 

They’re a fringe group, they barely represent themselves on the island of Ireland

Andrew Bridgen

She said: “In our defence, I should say that we did ask some hard-hitting and challenging questions.

“We did challenge the interviewee in several areas.

“I don’t know if you saw the interview but that was the editorial thought-process that went through behind it.”

But unforgiving and unsatisfied with the response, Mr Bridgen hit back: “I think it’s a huge mistake.”

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s hopes of getting a Brexit deal secured ahead of today’s EU summit have been dashed, as the DUP published a statement saying they “could not support” the current proposals.

The Northern Irish unionist party has released an official statement from Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds, the party’s leader and deputy, rejecting Boris Johnson’s current proposals.

The statement, shared to their Twitter account at 6.45am, said: “As things stand, we could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues and there is a lack of clarity on VAT.”

But the Northern Ireland leaders said they would continue to work with the Government “to try and get a sensible deal” that “protects the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom”.

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The DUP’s statement means that even if the Prime Minister secures a deal with the EU27, it is unlikely to pass Parliament on Saturday. 

This is because Mr Johnson requires 320 votes to get a deal ratified, rendering the 10 DUP votes crucial. 

But even if all 288 Tories back the deal, the DUP’s 10 will still not be enough to reach the necessary 320 majority. 

Talks in Brussels will continue this morning before the two-day summit kicks off at 2pm.

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