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Emily Thornberry Accuses TV Host Of Sexism After He Asks Her To Name French Foreign Minister

"Don't start pub quizzing me, Dermot. Don't start pub quizzing me."

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Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has accused a Sky News presenter of sexism after he asked her to name the French foreign minister.

She said it was wrong that Dermot Murnaghan conducted a "pub quiz" with her live on air – claiming that he did not ask the same questions of male politicians.

The highly awkward exchange on Sunday ended with Thornberry telling him: "Let’s take this off air because I’ve got a lot to say to you and I don’t think a lot of it ought to be broadcast."

It started when Murnaghan asked Thornberry, who also serves as shadow Brexit secretary, whether she had met her counterparts in France and Germany: "Have you met the French foreign minister ... do you know who he is?"

Thornberry rolled her eyes and replied: "Don't start pub quizzing me, Dermot. Don't start pub quizzing me."

Murnaghan pressed her: "He's the French foreign minister, do you know his name?"

Reaching for a glass of water, Thornberry said: "No and I'm not going to start answering your questions on this..."

As Murnaghan said, "Here we go again", she cut in to say: "Do you know what, what really upsets me about your attitude to me is that you do this with me – I don't remember you doing it to anybody else, you know.

"Have you done it to [Brexit secretary] David Davis, do Sky journalists have a go at [foreign secretary] Boris Johnson on this basis? How about [international trade secretary] Liam Fox – do you do pub quizzes with them?

"Can we talk about some serious stuff – why don't we talk about Syria, North Korea? You really want to spend this time pub quizzing me?"

Murnaghan said: "Well let's talk about North Korea then ... what about the South Korean president then, do you know the name?" Thornberry ignored the question.

As the discussion moved on to Labour's attempts to tackle anti-Semitism, racism, and sexism, Thornberry said: "Sometimes when it comes to sexism, some Sky presenters need to look at themselves too.

"It really upsets me that every time I come on here you do another pub quiz with me because you do not do it with anybody else and I do think that it’s patronising."

Murnaghan said: "It's not, because you are the shadow foreign secretary and this was about the French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault."

South Korea's president is Park Geun-hye.

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at

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