Liam Fox launched another attack on the BBC today as he accused some media outlets of wanting Britain to “fail” after Brexit.
Speaking in the Commons this morning, the International Trade Secretary singled out the BBC for criticism, claiming any positive economic news was always reported with the caveat “despite Brexit”.
His comments come less than two weeks after fellow Cabinet Minister Andrea Leadsom suggested journalists should be “patriotic” when it comes to quizzing the Government over its Brexit plans.
Fox made the remarks after Tory MP Nigel Evans asked him about the reporting of potential trade deals after Brexit.
“Every time I open a newspaper or listen to the radio or TV,” said Evans, “the story is done very negatively, as if it’s going to be possible for us to do these trade deals. Does he feel that it’s both wrong and undermines the work that he’s doing?”
Fox replied: “It does appear that some elements of our media would rather see Britain fail than Brexit succeed.
“I cannot recall a single time in recent times when I have seen good economic news that the BBC didn’t describe as ‘despite Brexit’.”
The comments were reminiscent of those made by the Leader of the Commons on Newsnight on June 23.
Host Emily Maitlis outlined the problems the Government faced as Brexit negotiations began, including that May had lost her majority, the DUP had not agreed to any deal to prop up the Tories in the new parliament and EU leaders were “laughing at us”.
Leadsom disputed this and then said: “Of course it’s early days. It would be helpful if broadcasters were willing to be a bit patriotic.
“The country took a decision. This Government is determined to deliver on that decision.”
Dumbfounded, Maitlis interrupted: “Sorry, it’s unpatriotic? Are you accusing me of being unpatriotic for questioning whether you have the position of strength that she said she wanted?”
Leadsom said: “I’m not accusing you of anything Emily. I am simply saying we need to pull together as a country.”