Labour MP praised for forcing John Humphrys to concede on Brexit Party and Trump arguments

PUBLISHED: 09:18 07 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:11 07 June 2019

John Humphrys is one of the brexiteers of the week. Picture: Danny Martindale

John Humphrys is one of the brexiteers of the week. Picture: Danny Martindale

2015 Danny Martindale

Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald has been praised for tackling John Humphrys who was seemingly cheerleading for Donald Trump and the Brexit Party.

At one point it appeared that McDonald was the one interviewing Radio 4 Today presenter as he started questioning the presenter on his own positions.

The pair initially locked horns over the Peterborough by-election as Humphrys argued that Labour had "just squeaked in".

A buoyant McDonald however was clear that a win was a win and that Labour had won "against all odds".

But Humphrys insisted that Labour hadn't "trounced" the Brexit Party or Tories, and had only won by "a few hundred votes". He maintained that it should have done better with a Conservative government in disarray.

McDonald continued to tell Humphrys "we won" - pointing out that the number of votes cast for Labour had gone up.

As the pair turned their attention to Brexit, McDonald said it was "time to go back to the people" to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

The Labour frontbencher said that his party had accepted the initial referendum result, but that it was about leaving on terms that protected the economy, and it was clear that was not now happening.

The presenter was suitably unimpressed by his stance, claiming that "it was not what the referendum asked people".

McDonald said it also "didn't ask the question 'do you want to lose a car plant in Bridgen in South Wales?'."

He continued: "It didn't ask whether you want to trash the steel industry... it didn't ask if you put the chemicals and polymers industry up for grabs."

He added: "They didn't vote for that - they didn't ask to be worse off - they didn't vote for it."

Humphrys harrumphed "all of those Labour supporters who voted to leave the European Union are being told by the Labour Party 'you got it wrong'."

McDonald denied this was the case and told him to rewind the tape to understand why. He said these were all important things to consider when discussing Brexit.

"Don't you think democracy is important too?" complained Humphrys. He continued: "Do you make the assumption, that having voted, they were so thick they didn't know what they were voting for?"

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"I'm a bit cross you put those words into my mouth because that's not what I said at all," responded McDonald.

"You're saying 'we know better than you do'," continued Humphrys, in a stark contrast to his interview with Nigel Farage just an hour before.

The Labour MP said "we all know better than we did in 2016."

The interview swiftly changed to the US president and Jeremy Corbyn's relationship with Trump - what did McDonald think of his leader's stance?

"Well when you get the president of the United States saying that the NHS is up for grabs and it's on the table," responded McDonald

"He didn't say that, but anyway, go on" claimed Humphrys before being quickly told he did. "I heard it and so did millions," the presenter insisted.

"John, stop, because that's not true" replied McDonald.

"Well afterwards he said it wasn't!" laughed Humphrys.

"Oh so you're accepting he did say it?" asked McDonald numerous times as Humphrys stuttered.

"Don't excuse the man," Labour frontbencher told the presenter as he denied the accusation.

"He said, and then he denied it, you know what Donald Trump is like," said the broadcaster, only for McDonald to reply: "Course he denied it. The man's out of control!"

The exchange between the pair was a topic of discussion on social media with McDonald's name trending as listeners praised his performance.

"Complete & utter car crash interview by John Harrumph-rhys on @BBCr4today, coming across as the very embodiment of the desperate Brexiter," said one.

"Yelling at his interviewee to 'let him speak', we're truly down an #r4today rabbit hole. Hats off to Andy Mcdonald coping with the madness."

Peter West wrote: "Contrast the friendly interview style John Humphrys adopted with Nigel Farage at 7:10 against the aggressive stance he's taking with Andy McDonald at 8:10. He's a disgrace #r4today."

Jane E Murphy tweeted: "Andy McDonald Labour MP completely trounced John Humphrys on Today programme today with his stupid questions and denial of Trump statements. It was a joy to listen to."

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