Sophy Ridge Skewers Minister With 1 Gut-Punching Point About Ex-Tory MP's Defection To Labour

Michelle Donelan's response somehow ended up being about who invented the queue...
Michelle Donelan and Sophy Ridge
Michelle Donelan and Sophy Ridge
Sky News

Sky News’ Sophy Ridge made a very good point when asking a government minister about Natalie Elphicke’s recent defection to Labour.

The ex-Tory MP dramatically crossed the floor yesterday and released a statement accusing Rishi Sunak of “failing to keep our borders safe”.

Elphicke was seen to be on the right of the Conservative Party and has repeatedly shared her hardline views about illegal immigration – while regularly criticising Labour’s own policies on immigration.

Last night, science secretary Michelle Donelan said her defection to Labour over immigration was therefore “completely and utterly nonsensical”.

“That’s the thing though isn’t it,” Ridge replied. “How bad does she think your plan is? She must think it’s really bad.”

“I don’t think that’s about our plan at all,” Donelan said.

Ridge replied: “Well it is, that’s what she said it’s about – that she doesn’t trust Rishi [Sunak] to deliver on illegal immigration.

“She doesn’t think Labour’s plan is great, but she thinks yours is even worse.”

The miniter said it was more about Elphicke’s judgement and that government’s plan was already getting illegal immigration down by a third.

The Sky News host said: “Sorry, illegal immigration is down by a third? What stats are those?”

When the minister explained she was talking about the boat crossings, Ridge cut across and said: “Currently, it’s at record levels.”

“Yeah but we haven’t finished the year – I meant annually,” Donelan replied.

“At this point in the year, it’s at record levels of small boat crossings. It’s not down by a third,” Ridge said.

The minister then blamed the figures on the delay in passing the Rwanda bill through parliament.

She also said the new act was already working as a deterrent as Ireland have been complaining that more refugees are arriving from the UK.

But Ridge replied: “I’m happy to say it’s a deterrent when we have evidence it’s a deterrent. Right now, it’s a deterrent for people already in the UK. Which I’m guessing, is not what you’re aiming for.”

Donelan continually tried to say the government has a “multi-prong strategy” but the Sky News host repeatedly reminded her: “It hasn’t worked!”

“Just having a plan isn’t enough,” Ridge reminded her.

Explaining how she empathises with Britons’ frustration over the issue, Donelan said: “I always view it as one of our values, fairness.

“It’s inherent in our values – we literally invented the queue.

“It’s downright unfair that illegal immigrants think they can bypass our systems and come here after having been in a safe country, and that’s what we are determined to stop.”

Actually, academics previously told The Times that is a “mistaken idea” that Brits invented the queue.


What's Hot