'Lunatics running the asylum!' Sky's Kay Burley loses it at Tory Remainer rebels
The veteran TV host was referring to the fact that 17 Tories rebelled against their own party in this afternoon’s vote and five ministers, including Chancellor Philip Hammond, abstained. The vote was on an amendment which could thwart efforts by the next prime minister to force through a no deal Brexit. The Commons backed the move by 315 votes to 274, majority 41, which could stop the next PM suspending Parliament in order to allow the UK to crash out of the EU.
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Margot James resigned as minister for digital after voting against the Government and was among 17 Tories who rebelled by backing the amendment.
She subsequently appeared as a guest on Kay Burley’s show – but was visibly horrified when Ms Burley lost her cool and essentially called her a “lunatic.”
She blasted: “Politicians, the government are just doing whatever they want now.
“It’s almost like the end of term.
“Ministers and Cabinet ministers are not doing what they should be doing as far as the Prime Minister is concerned.
“Even Jeremy Hunt didn’t vote today.
“I mean, the lunatics are running the asylum!”
Aghast, Ms James stammered: “Well, I don’t think it’s quite that bad.
“Let’s get this in perspective.
“These were amendments to a bill about Northern Ireland.
Tory leadership contender Jeremy Hunt said he thought he was given permission to miss the vote, but was mistaken.
He tweeted: “I missed votes today because I thought I was slipped and it turns out I was not. Apologies to my colleagues & Whip. My position is that parliament should NOT restrict the hands of an incoming govt in this way & I remain opposed to how parl voted.”
His rival Boris Johnson voted against the move to block prorogation.
The vote came after the Lords strongly backed a bid to block Parliament being suspended in order to facilitate a no-deal exit by a margin of 103 votes on Wednesday.
The change to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill will require progress reports on restoring devolved government in Northern Ireland to be debated regularly in Parliament, effectively preventing it being prorogued.
Justice Secretary Mr Gauke said before the vote that proroguing Parliament would be “outrageous” – but he did not confirm whether he would back the measures to block it.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “At a crucial point in this country’s history, if you like – that Parliament should not be able to sit, should not be able to express its opinion and its will, I think would be outrageous.
“I very much doubt that any prime minister would in fact suspend Parliament in these circumstances, but I can understand the concerns that a lot of my colleagues have.”