Flagship news programmes faced impossible task of distilling day’s events into succinct and punchy curtain raiser
Absolute abject chaos. A government in its death spiral. Utter turmoil. Chaos on all fronts.
Extraordinary opening remarks from the nation’s broadcasters on yet another extraordinary day in British politics.
After Liz Truss’s latest U-turn on the pensions triple-lock at prime minister’s questions, the home secretary’s resignation, confusion around the status of the Tory party whips and allegations of manhandling in the parliamentary lobbies during a key vote, the BBC and ITV’s flagship 10pm news programmes faced the impossible task of distilling the day’s events into a succinct and punchy curtain raiser.
With the bombast of Chris Morris’s Day Today newsreader, ITV’s Tom Bradby opened the News at Ten with a bruising summary.
It has been a night of astonishing scenes at Westminster with reports of jostling, manhandling, bullying and shouting outside the parliamentary lobbies in a supposed vote of confidence in the government.
The deputy chief whip was reported to have left the scene saying, ‘I’m absolutely F-ing furious, I just don’t F-ing care any more’, before he resigned along with the chief whip. But we’ve just been told they have now officially unresigned. The home secretary has, however, definitely gone.
In short it is total absolute abject chaos.
Over on the BBC, Huw Edwards adopted his trademark sombre tone, as if he was announcing the death of another member of the royal family, yet it was the government’s demise he was relaying to the viewers at home.
Tonight at 10, chaos on all fronts for Liz Truss. The home secretary resigns and party discipline breaks down in the Commons.
Suella Braverman is out as home secretary. She admits breaking the rules on official communications but she also criticises Liz Truss. In her resignation letter, she accuses the government of losing direction and of breaking promises to voters.
In the Commons tonight, chaos and confusion in a vote on fracking revealing the depth of anger among some conservative MPs.
His opening was followed up with a pithy precis of the day in Westminster with a wounding payoff from the BBC’s political editor, Chris Mason.
A weak prime minister flailing from one crisis to the next and a big blunt question tonight: is this a government in its death spiral?
After Mason’s report, Edwards asked him: “Is this government functioning in any meaningful way?”
Mason replied: “No, is the short answer. It is utterly dysfunctional and we’re seeing that play out hour by hour.”
Later in the evening, Victoria Derbyshire opened BBC Two’s Newsnight with the question already answered in the minds of many across the nation: is it over for the prime minister?
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Another day of utter turmoil for the government. The home secretary’s resigned and more cabinet ministers are on resignation watch. There was chaos over a fracking vote. And the prime minister was forced to make another promise, this time on pensions. So is it nearly all over for Liz Truss?
Spare a thought for Channel 4 News presenter, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, whose standout moment on a potential fateful day in politics was not for a viral polemic but for a viral on-air blunder in which he was heard off-camera calling the Northern Ireland minister and arch-Brexiteer Steve Baker a “cunt”.
Guru-Murthy was forced to apologise “unreservedly” to Baker after swearing at him in an “unguarded moment”.
The broadcaster said the remark followed a “robust interview” with Baker but it was “beneath the standards I set myself”.