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