Steerpike Steerpike

Emily Thornberry turns the air blue on Marr

With less than four weeks to go until polling day, tensions are running high between politicians from the two main parties. On the Andrew Marr Show, Michael Fallon and Emily Thornberry came to blows over Jeremy Corbyn’s links to the IRA.

When the Defence Secretary criticised Corbyn on this issue, the shadow foreign secretary hit back by citing the time Fallon had visited Assad in Syria after his re-election in 2007 (note: Jeremy Corbyn has also met Assad, so this is perhaps not the most effective attack line). However, Fallon’s riposte appeared to trigger Thornberry — who went on to turn the air blue live on television:

MF: There’s a huge moral difference between talking to other foreign leaders, and I meet them all the time as defence secretary, and Jeremy Corbyn’s quite open support for the IRA…

ET: That’s just not having open support for the IRA. You really can’t just go around making this stuff up. There’s an election on and people need to make decisions on the basis of the truth…

MF: He received them in Parliament…

ET: You’ve just said for example, that I want to renegotiate the future of the Falklands. That is bollocks.

On being asked to repeat her statement, Lady Nugee did at least tone down her language — instead, saying Fallon’s claim was ‘untrue’.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles


Written by

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

Topics in this article


Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in