Sky News political editor Faisal Islam has taken on a protestor outside Downing Street after he accused the prime minister of being a “traitor”.
As Theresa May’s cabinet went head-to-head over the UK’s looming Brexit cliff-edge, things were equally charged on the streets of Westminster.
As Islam explained the state of affairs in parliament the day after indicative votes in the Commons failed to find a Brexit option MPs could unite behind, a man wearing a UKIP rosette shouted: “Theresa May is a traitor”.
“Why did you just shout treason? How is that helpful?,” the political editor challenged, refusing to pass back to fellow Sky presenter Kay Burley.
“She’s acting against the interests of the country,” the man hit back.
“No, she’s doing what she thinks is in the interests of the country,” Islam said. “You may disagree with that, but why do you shout treason?”
“Because she’s a traitor. That’s what that word is – look it up in the dictionary what the word means,” the man said.
He went on to add: “Have you noticed how comfortable she is when she’s with her friends in Brussels? How [much] more comfortable she is when she’s in Europe compared to the place over the road?”
Ending the exchange, Islam told the camera: “It’s become quite normal using that type of language.
“I just thought it was worth checking out exactly why people feel it’s okay to call politicians traitors and use words like treason. That was his explanation – I’m sure there will be more of that as we go on.”
Lightening the mood, Burley quipped: “Faisal has had his three Shredded Wheat today, hasn’t he?”
The confrontation comes just months after protestors called MP Anna Soubry a Nazi while she filmed an interview with BBC News.
“I do object to being called a Nazi, actually,” she said at the time. “I think this is astonishing. This is what has happened to our country, this is what’s happened to our country.”
Commons speaker John Bercow later condemned the abuse as “a type of fascism”, calling on police to tackle the harassment of MPs.