LBC host Nick Ferrari ends interview with Dorset MP “unable to answer a question”

A RADIO interview with a Dorset MP was cut short by the presenter after he failed to answer a question three times.

Michael Tomlinson (Con, Mid Dorset and North Poole), who is the minister of state for illegal migration, was interviewed on LBC this morning by presenter Nick Ferrari.

The drama unfolded after the 46-year-old MP was asked about comments made by former Conservative party deputy chair, Lee Anderson (Con, Ashfield).

Last week, Mr Anderson said “Islamists” had “got control” of Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and that Mr Khan had “given the capital to his mates”.

The comments have been condemned in many quarters, with the Prime Minister calling them “wrong”, and the Conservative whip withdrawn from Mr Anderson.

However, the party has come under fire for not confirming why the comments were “wrong” – and refusing to answer whether they were anti-Muslim, or Islamaphobic.

That was the subject of a question from Mr Ferrari to Mr Tomlinson this morning, when he asked: “Why was it necessary for Lee Anderson to have the whip suspended?”

Mr Ferrari ended the interview and Michael Tomlinson left the studio. Pictures: LBC

Mr Ferrari ended the interview and Michael Tomlinson left the studio. Pictures: LBC

Mr Tomlinson replied: “Respectfully, I think what Lee said was wrong. As a result of what he said, he had the whip removed from him.”

Mr Ferrari tried again, saying: “What was it, specifically, that meant the whip had to go? We agree it was wrong, but why was it wrong?”

Again, Mr Tomlinson did not expand on his answer, simply saying: “Nick, it was wrong.”

“But why was it wrong?” Mr Ferrari tried once again.

“What he said was wrong,” Mr Tomlinson said, yet again. “As a result of what he said, the whip was removed from him. That was robust action…”

“But why was it wrong?” he tried for a fourth time.

“It was wrong, Nick, because of what he said, and robust action was taken.”

But Mr Ferrari did not give up.

He said: “Let’s try this a different way. Was it Islamophobic?”

But still, Mr Tomlinson refused to expand.

“What he said was wrong and robust action was taken and the whip was removed within 24 hours,” he said.

“Was it Islamophobic?”

“Nick, it was wrong.”

“I will ask you now, for the third time, was it Islamophobic?”

“Nick, it was wrong.”

At this point, Mr Ferrari ended the interview, saying: “I’ll have to curtail the interview there, I’m grateful for your time but enough already.

“Michael Tomlinson is the minister of state for illegal migration – unable to answer a question.”

A clip of the interview has since gone viral, being viewed more than half a million times on social media site, X (formerly Twitter).

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In response to the interview, chair of the Labour Party, Annelise Dodds (Lab & Co-op, Oxford East) said the interview was “astonishing”.

“It’s astonishing that Conservative Ministers cannot condemn Anderson’s comments as Islamophobic,” she said.

“A strong leader would set this right – but Rishi Sunak is too weak to call it out.

“That’s why extreme views are taking root in the Conservative Party on his watch.”

One Comment

  1. Nicholas Heavisides Reply

    A politician answering a question with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is a rarer occurrence than a total solar eclipse. Only a literal handful are possessed with the capacity to give a straightforward answer to the questions they are asked. Many are masters of obfuscation and the utilisation of straw man arguments. If Anelise Dodds’ party had won the election and the roles were reversed she would be saying exactly the same thing. The UK is governed by a uni-party. Covid proved that with only one MP voting against lockdowns. It makes no lasting difference which main party has power. Only the speed with which foolish, unwise and ultimately injurious bills are pushed through parliament will be affected.

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