Anna Soubry, the MP most famous for admonishing Nigel Farage on Question Time (as well as being the first female defence minister from the Commons), has spoken of her exchange with the Ukip leader, saying she “wobbled” him.
The MP, who once joked on the BBC that Farage "looks like somebody has put their finger up his bottom and he really rather likes it", said of the Question Time spat, “I think it did wobble him”, adding that voters are increasingly seeing him as a “one-trick pony”.
Speaking to The House Magazine, Soubry said: “It was Boston and I’m an East Midlands girl, it’s my part of the world. The fact is that part of the country has always relied on migrant labour. Always. In the past they relied on the Irish, the Portuguese and now people from the European Union, many of whom have settled because the nature of agriculture now is you use polytunnels and so what used to be seasonal work is now much more of a permanent piece of work that needs to be done.”
The Tory, who has been the Member of Parliament for Broxtowe since 2010, continued her crusade against Ukip and the leader in particular, suggesting after the fiery exchange left Farage like a "deflated balloon” because “nobody had actually really had the argument with him, which said ‘sorry, what is your problem? These people are good people, they come here to work’.”
Soubry added: “When you say one minute ‘Cameron’s gotta tell ‘em we’re full, put up the sign, Britain’s Full’ and then literally a few weeks later ‘oh let’s bring in all the Syrian refugees’, it doesn’t make sense. One minute he says David Cameron is absolutely right on welfare reform, and then in the recent by-election [Wythenshawe and Sale East] he says to people ‘we’ll protect your benefits’. They don’t know whether they’re Arthur or Martha.”
The MP did concede that Ukip could cost take her parliamentary seat at the next election: “The great lesson from the 2010 election is that you can’t say a swing will be uniform. It’s just not like that. In my patch if people vote UKIP, I ain’t coming back here because they will let the Labour guy in.”