BBC empty chairs government after ministers refused to appear on programme

PUBLISHED: 13:58 10 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:03 10 September 2019

Victoria Derbyshire empty chairs the government. Photograph: BBC.

Victoria Derbyshire empty chairs the government. Photograph: BBC.

Archant

The BBC has empty-chaired the government after it refused to put up a minister to talk about the prorogation of parliament.

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The Victoria Derbyshire programme tried to form a panel of guests to talk about what happens next after the House of Commons and Lords were suspended for five weeks.

The host explained that she had asked for someone to appear from the government, but the producers were told that "no-one was available".

Instead two backbench Conservative MPs appeared on the programme to answer questions in the form of Tobias Ellwood and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.

Only one minister was fielded to answer questions hours after Boris Johnson's prorogation plans went ahead - Treasury minister Simon Clarke - who appeared on the breakfast radio and television programmes.

Our Future Our Choice tweeted: "The government gets empty-chaired on #VictoriaLive after failing to put anyone up for interview - they must all be on holiday already?"

"Newsnight needs to start doing this as well!" said another.

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