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BBC This Week: Michael Portillo Issues Extraordinary Attack On Financial Times Editor

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05/05/2017 10:05 | Updated 05 May 2017

Michael Portillo has launched an extraordinary attack on the editor of the Financial Times for his newspaper lacking patriotism in its reporting of Brexit.

The former Conservative minister told FT boss Lionel Barber the pink’uns coverage of the UK’s decision to leave the EU was “really depressing”.

The FT on Wednesday revealed its analysis that a Brexit “divorce bill” would cost €100 billion (£84bn).

“You’re meant to be a British newspaper,” an incensed Portillo said on the BBC’s ‘This Week’. “Where’s the national interest in all this?”

Read the exchange in full, below. Watch the clip, above.

The exchange comes after Brexit Secretary David Davis said the UK wouldn’t pay the estimated £84bn demand.

Davis said the UK would pay what was legally due, in line with its rights and obligations, but not simply “what the EU wants”.

‘Voice of doom’

The FT has long-been criticised by ardent Brexit supporters for its reporting of the economic and financial consequences of last June’s referendum.

The Daily Mail newspaper has been one of the FT’s most vocal critics on Brexit, with several feature-length articles devoted to Barber and the paper’s reporting.

The Mail regularly describes the paper as “the voice of doom”.

And one headline on an article published last year read: ‘Legion Dis’Honneur: Editor of the Financial Times gets top French award... for talking down Britain’.

It came after Barber was offered a prestigious French accolade for having a ‘positive role in the European debate’. 

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