Change UK’s Gavin Esler has taken to task one of the Brexit Party candidates in a fiery television exchange over social media claims, the party’s mysterious donor, and its lack of manifesto.
Martin Daubney was left squirming as Esler tried to hold him to account for what he called a “lie” over who the former Newsnight presenter had called a “village idiot”.
In a lively discussion on the BBC’s Politics Live programme, Esler said that the Brexit Party was using a “hugely simplistic message” and that it was “worse than that because it contains lies.”
It led to Esler confronting Daubney for the way his party had used the Change UK candidate’s comments to suggest he called every Leave voter the “village idiots”.
A suggestion that had been amplified by Piers Morgan on social media.
Esler, however, pointed out this was in relation to Michael Gove’s comments on experts, and was not made about all Brexiteers, something Daubney would not acknowledge.
Esler joked it was up to Daubney if he wants to “self-identify” as one, but he had not accused him of being in this category.
He explained: “What I said was we need more experts in British politics, we fewer Chris Graylings, we need people who know what they’re talking about.
“If I go to the dentist I go to somebody who knows what they are doing, I don’t go to someone who is a village idiot.”
He told Daubney to look him in the eyes in an attempt to get him to admit his mistake, but the Brexiteer continued to argue over the semantics.
Esler said: “You lied, and its one of the reasons I’m in politics, because you have lied about me and you’re lying to the people.”
He continued: “You lied and you know you lied.”
Later in the programme Daubney exasperated the panel by saying that there won’t be a manifesto “until after the elections” and that “until then it’s just Brexit”.
It prompted Andrew Neil to ask “what’s the point?”, before they all began to debate whether the party’s call for a no-deal Brexit was exactly what people voted for in 2016.
The Brexit Party candidate also refused to name the mystery £100,000 backer was for his party, claiming he did not know who it was.
“Why is this your donor is so ashamed of you they won’t say who they are? Why won’t you say who they are? Are you a shamed of them?” asked Esler.
“I don’t know who it is – Nigel does!” said Daubney, causing Esler to react in disbelief.