A Tory minister endured an excruciating interview on live TV as she repeatedly refused to say whether the UK will stay signed up to the United Nations’ refugee convention.
Burley asked the minister: “Will the government commit to staying within the UN refugee convention?”
Dodging the question, Frazer said: “What [Suella Braverman] was saying was uncontrolled illegal immigration is a global problem that needs global solutions. As a government, we’re absolutely committed to that.”
Burley replied: “And in answer to my question?”
The minister said: “International agreements are really important ... but what the home secretary was talking about was the fact that when that UN convention was formed it was all about persecution and immigration was nowhere near the levels that it is today.
“Now what we’re getting is economic migrants coming here as well as those suffering persecution and what she was saying was that is something we should be thinking about internationally and we need international solutions.”
Once again, Burley said: “And in answer to my question?”
Frazer replied: “I think I did answer your question.”
But Burley hit back: “No you didn’t.”
The minister then said: “You asked me whether the UN convention needed looking at.”
The presenter responded: “No I didn’t say that. I’ll ask you again. Will the government commit to staying in the UN refugee convention is what I asked you?”
Frazer said: “Well I think those conventions are really important, but what she was talking about whether those sorts of conventions should be reformed and I do think that it’s up to all countries to look at whether conventions that were signed a number of years ago are still doing the job that they were enacted to do.”
Asked later in the interview whether the HS2 rail line will make it from Birmingham to Manchester, Frazer said: “That is a decision, as you know, for the chancellor and not for me.”
Burley replied: “I seem to know an awful lot more than you this morning, minister.”