Kay Burley, an anchor for Sky News Britain, put on a master class on holding a politician’s feet to the fire in a live interview.
Burley was talking to U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock about Tony Abbott, the former prime minister of Australia, who is being considered for the British Board of Trade.
After the Sky News anchor outlines Abbott’s controversial views on women and homosexuality, Hancock tells Burley that Abbott is qualified for the post because he is the former prime minister of Australia. “Even if he’s a homophobic misogynist?” replies Burley. The interview didn’t get any easier for Hancock after that.
Sky News reports Abbott has “reportedly previously said men are better suited for leadership roles than women, described abortion as the ‘easy way out,’ opposed same-sex marriage and said he feels a ‘bit threatened by homosexuality.'”
NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen tweeted about the interview:
Americans would be startled to see one of their journalists pressure a cabinent secretary like this, and refuse to give up. But man do we need this kind of directness now. Watch to see what I mean. pic.twitter.com/M4HgZpQqSZ via @MGEmancipation
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) September 3, 2020
Abbott’s appointment remains unconfirmed despite ongoing speculation that he will take up a position advising Britain as it negotiates trade deals after Brexit. He has described his mooted position as a “role” and not a “job”.
“Tony Abbott is a homophobe and a misogynist”
— Kay Burley (@KayBurley) September 3, 2020