Britain’s media should fall into line and back Brexit – according to Liam Fox.
Speaking in the House of Commons the International Trade Secretary said the BBC and other organisations preferred to see ‘Britain fail than see Brexit succeed’.
But veteran Labour MP and Europhile Barry Sheerman hit back calling the attack ‘silly ‘ and he even urged the minister to resign amid claims he had lost the confidence of manufacturers for ‘living in cloud cuckoo land’ over Britain’s future.
Fox said: ‘It does appear that some elements of our media would rather see Britain fail than see Brexit succeed. I cannot recall a single time in recent times when I have seen good economic news that the BBC didn’t describe as ‘despite Brexit’.’
His comments came after Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom called for broadcasters to be ‘a bit patriotic’ during an interview with BBC Newsnight last month.
Mr Sheerman said attacks on the media must not be used ‘as an excuse for policy’ as he told Fox that manufacturers had no confidence in him.
He said: ‘This frontbench team must know that this silly attack on the BBC cannot be used as an excuse for policy.
‘This is a Secretary of State who has refused to meet the All Party Manufacturing Group.
‘Can I tell him that the manufacturers I know, they have no confidence in this Secretary of State.
‘He is living in cloud cuckoo land. They think he is not competent and they want his resignation.’
Liberal Democrat chief whip Alistair Carmichael compared Dr Fox to ‘Donald Trump without the perma-tan’ as he accused him of trying to shift attention from his own department’s record.
Responding to the comments, Mr Carmichael said: ‘A Government minister attacking the media in this way is a dangerous and misplaced intervention.
‘Mr Fox should get on with the work of Government rather than trying to deflect from the failings of his Department.
‘It is extraordinary that Mr Fox feels it is appropriate to attack the media.
‘He looks like Donald Trump without the perma-tan.
‘He may of course be trying to distract us from the official data today that shows the number of jobs created by foreign investment fell by 9% last year.’