Lib Dems in a spin as Sarah Olney walks out of awkward interview

Written by David Singleton on 2 December 2016 in Diary

A Liberal Democrat PR man had to pick up the pieces after the new MP went AWOL.

The Liberal Democrats’ newest MP disappeared off air just three minutes into an interview – leaving a Lib Dem spin doctor to apologise live on air.

The highly unusual scenes occurred as Sarah Olney was being grilled on Talk Radio by presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer.

Olney ousted former Tory Zac Goldsmith in the Richmond Park by-election, having campaigned for a referendum on the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

In the interview, Hartley-Brewer attempted to skewer Olney with a series of awkward questions.

She kicked off: “Voters knew what they were voting for in your by-election, they knew what they were voting for in the EU referendum. Why do we think that one election should be re-run and one shouldn’t?”

Olney said the terms of Brexit had not been clear during the referendum and it had been a vote on the departure rather than the destination.

“There was no clear manifesto for what happened to our membership of the single market or what happened to freedom of movement,” she said.

As the presenter kept going, Olney quickly appeared to have decided that enough was enough.

After a few seconds of silence, an unnamed aide stepped in and told the presenter: “I’m really sorry but Sarah has to leave now.”





A shocked Hartley-Brewer made it clear she was not impressed with her interviewee’s disappearing act.

“If she doesn’t want to answer questions from a radio station perhaps she is not fit to be an MP”, she said.

The presenter has previously made it clear that she is strongly opposed to a referendum on the terms of Brexit.






Picture by: Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Images

Share this page




Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

David Cameron: ‘I sh*t at the TV’ over Leave campaign lies
19 September 2019

Getting through the morning broadcast round without raising an unplanned talking point does not get any easier after leaving office, David Cameron has revealed.

Tory civil war escalates as David Cameron shoots 'Boris'
17 September 2019

The Conservatives' bitter feud over Brexit has, it's fair to say, ramped up a notch this week with the publication of former Prime Minister David Cameron's memoirs.

‘A Very Expensive Poison’: How Politics Still Lives In The Shadow Of Litvinenko
13 September 2019

“Whenever you tell a story, you tell a lie.” That’s a great line from the play, and it feels very now.

Is a massive bot army behind a wave of 'I support Boris' messages?
10 September 2019

Messages supporting Boris Johnson have begun to flood Facebook and Twitter in the past 24-hours. But who or what is behind the surge?