Brexiteer says he declined Newsnight interview because Emily Maitlis ‘intimidates’

Daniel Kawczynski appears on Sky News. Photograph: Sky.

Daniel Kawczynski appears on Sky News. Photograph: Sky. - Credit: Archant

A Brexiteer has said that he would not appear on the BBC's Newsnight with Emily Maitlis because he said she was guilty of intimidating behaviour which 'would not be tolerated in any normal workplace'.

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski said he believed the presenter was 'confrontational to point of intimidation'.

His comments were made after Newsnight staff were reprimanded for Maitlis' monologue about Dominic Cummings, in which the presenter was deemed to have broken impartiality rules.

In a tweet the Brexiteer said: 'I had to decline Newsnight interview last night on Mr Cummings as I find @maitlis to be extraordinarily aggressive, unnecessarily rude, biased & confrontational to point of intimidation.

'This behaviour would not be tolerated in any normal workplace so why do we accept from #BBC.'


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Kawczynski in February was reported to have attended a conference in Italy with 'some of Europe's most notorious far-right politicians', including Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban and the niece of French far-right leader Marie Le Pen.

He defended the decision to attend the National Conservatism conference by claiming it was to 'share an Anglo-Polish perspective on Brexit and what it signifies for the future of Europe'.


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He added: 'Clearly, Messrs. Orban and Salvini are not to everyone's tastes. But they represent serious ideas and concerns, some of which are shared by many citizens of the UK.'

There has been an outpouring of support for Maitlis against the BBC's reprimand, with signatories for a petition in support of the presenter outweighing the number of complaints.

At the time of writing 73,200 people had signed the petition, compared to 18,150 complaints to the BBC.

The National Union of Journalists defended the presenter, with general secretary Michelle Stanistreet saying: 'At a time of national crisis, frank and fearless journalism that scrutinises and holds this government to account is more necessary than ever.'

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