Tory Brexiteer broadcaster Iain Dale has dramatically stormed off a TV set over a debate about government austerity and cuts to social care.
Dale was appearing on Good Morning Britain alongside commentators Grace Blakeley and Nihal Arthanayake when the conversation turned to the discussion of Jonty Bravery, the autistic teenager who almost killed a French boy by pushing him off a balcony at the Tate modern gallery.
Economist and political commentator Blakeley argued that the incident was partly to blame due to austerity and cuts to social care, but when Dale argued that argument was “utter rubbish” his fellow guests were keen to point out he was wrong.
He said: “It’s nothing to do with cuts this is to do with people doing the sensible thing and reporting something.”
He added: “You don’t have to have thousands of pounds to be sensible”.
He went on his own presumably because there wasn’t someone who could accompany him at all times because there wasn’t the resources.
BBC radio presenter Arthanayake said his claim was “ridiculous”, telling the former Tory candidate: “To just sweep that away with out any facts and say ‘this isn’t about resources’ is ridiculous. Do you want the data on the lack of resources? Ridiculous.”
Dale became frustrated with the panel when he was struggling to get his own response across before the presenters intervened to allow him to give a view.
But the exasperated presenter chose instead stood up saying “OK right, that’s it” before removing his microphone and storming off the set, later claiming the panellists were trying to “close” him down.
Presenters Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard urged Dale to come back to the set to continue the discussion, while his guests shrugged it off, claiming it was not a grown up response to the debate.
“Wow, what a fit of pique”, said Arthanayake, before joking that “he’s a West Ham fan”.
“I decided it wasn’t worth hanging around. Apologies to [show presenters] Kate Garraway, Ben Shephard and Charlotte Hawkins,” he later tweeted.
He wrote: “I enjoy my early mornings on @GMB with @Jacqui_Smith1 because they’re all about civilised discussion. Today’s was not. It was about closing me down. I decided it wasn’t worth hanging around. Apologies to @kategarraway, @benshephard & @CharlotteHawkns but enough is enough.”