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Grayling struggles to cope with BBC Breakfast grilling



  • Grayling toured the TV studios to defend the Government on Brexit this morning
  • But with the negotiations at an impasse, the Transport Secretary had little to say
  • He was slammed by BBC Breakfast host Charlie Stayt for dodging questions   

By Kate Ferguson, Political Correspondent For Mailonline

Published: 04:50 EST, 7 December 2017 | Updated: 05:45 EST, 7 December 2017

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Chris Grayling was left floundering this morning as he got an on-air grilling about why the Government's Brexit plans hit the skids in what viewers branded a 'car crash' interview.

The Transport Secretary left the presenter Charlie Stayt less than impressed as he refused to say what ministers are doing to get the stalled talks back on track.

Theresa May and her minsters have been given just 48 hours to get the DUP to sign up to a new plan or face trade talks being delayed until next year.

Viewers heaped praise on Stayt and said he was showing Radio 4's flagship Today programme how it's done, while another viewer hailed him a 'bad a**'. 

Chris Grayling was left floundering this morning as he got an on-air grilling about why the Government's Brexit plans hit the skids
Chris Grayling was left floundering this morning as he got an on-air grilling about why the Government's Brexit plans hit the skids

Chris Grayling was left floundering this morning as he got an on-air grilling about why the Government's Brexit plans hit the skids

But the Transport Secretary left the BBC Breakfast presenter Charlie Stayt less than impressed as he refused to say what ministers are doing to get the stalled talks back on track
But the Transport Secretary left the BBC Breakfast presenter Charlie Stayt less than impressed as he refused to say what ministers are doing to get the stalled talks back on track

But the Transport Secretary left the BBC Breakfast presenter Charlie Stayt less than impressed as he refused to say what ministers are doing to get the stalled talks back on track

In a scathing assessment of the Cabinet minister's explanation as to why negotiations have hit the buffers, Stayt said: ‘I'm not quite sure what your role was today in doing media interview.

'Was your job to reassure people that everything is going well and everything is in hand?' Because I am not sure you are doing that.’ 

The PM's push to strike a deal to move on to the next stage of talks collapsed at the eleventh hour on Monday after the DUP pulled the plug on the plan amid fears it would tear the UK apart. 

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar last night said he expected to see a new draft of the proposed divorce deal today so the new plan can be back in Brussels this week.

But the DUP poured cold water on hoped for a quick resolution and say they do not expect a new agreement this week.

Twitter user Lou said: Chris Grayling got crucified by Charlie Stayt on BBC Breakfast, rightly so, but trotting out the same platitudes on R4Today.
Twitter user Lou said: Chris Grayling got crucified by Charlie Stayt on BBC Breakfast, rightly so, but trotting out the same platitudes on R4Today.

Twitter user Lou said: Chris Grayling got crucified by Charlie Stayt on BBC Breakfast, rightly so, but trotting out the same platitudes on R4Today.

Geoff Hall replied to a tweet from BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg about the Radio 4 interview and said: 'Best interviewer Charlie Stayt, he really tried to make him answer the difficult questions that Grayling did not want to answer.
Geoff Hall replied to a tweet from BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg about the Radio 4 interview and said: 'Best interviewer Charlie Stayt, he really tried to make him answer the difficult questions that Grayling did not want to answer.

Geoff Hall replied to a tweet from BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg about the Radio 4 interview and said: 'Best interviewer Charlie Stayt, he really tried to make him answer the difficult questions that Grayling did not want to answer.

One Twitter user hailed the presenter's grilling describing him as a 'bad a**'
One Twitter user hailed the presenter's grilling describing him as a 'bad a**'

One Twitter user hailed the presenter's grilling describing him as a 'bad a**'

While one BBC viewer said the presenter 'nailed' the Transport Secretary over Brexit
While one BBC viewer said the presenter 'nailed' the Transport Secretary over Brexit

While one BBC viewer said the presenter 'nailed' the Transport Secretary over Brexit

As Mrs May faces a frantic scramble to get the crunch talks back on track, her Brexit -backing Transport Secretary toured the television studios this morning to bat for the Government.

But as Stayt grilled him about how the Government could have let talks get so far without having the DUP - who is propping up in No10 - sign  them off, Mr Grayling struggled to given an answer.

He told BBC Breakfast: ‘We are in the middle of a negotiating process, I cant give you a running commentary on the detail but I remain very optimistic that we will reach an agreement..'

But Stayt interrupted him, saying the 'stock line' is 'not good enough' as the negotiations have hit a crisis point.

Other Twitter users were more critical of the grilling and wondered aloud why Cabinet ministers subject themselves to it
Other Twitter users were more critical of the grilling and wondered aloud why Cabinet ministers subject themselves to it

Other Twitter users were more critical of the grilling and wondered aloud why Cabinet ministers subject themselves to it

Another viewer said it was wrong for the BBC presenter to accuse the minister of offering answers that were not good enough 
Another viewer said it was wrong for the BBC presenter to accuse the minister of offering answers that were not good enough 

Another viewer said it was wrong for the BBC presenter to accuse the minister of offering answers that were not good enough 

He added: ‘We apparently have 48 hours to come up with something new – I'd like to know and I think a lot of other people would like to know what you, Theresa May and the cabinet and the Brexit Secretary are doing between now and then to change things.' 

Mr Grayling insisted ministers are working 'very hard' but this less the journalist less than impressed as he pressed for answers.

A clearly frustrated Stayt said: ‘With respect you were doing all this before – you are giving me the generalities but the clock really is ticking here – you know this more than anyone.

‘The clock is ticking here whats going to be different about the wording of the proposals that you are going to put forward?’

He added: 'I'm really confused here. If you cant tell me Theresa May is going to come up with a new proposal, that’s a bit alarming isn't it? 

Mr Grayling was unable to give clear answers about the talks while negotiations continue with the DUP (pictured in Westminster on Tuesday) 
Mr Grayling was unable to give clear answers about the talks while negotiations continue with the DUP (pictured in Westminster on Tuesday) 

Mr Grayling was unable to give clear answers about the talks while negotiations continue with the DUP (pictured in Westminster on Tuesday) 

'That means everything is going to be pushed back into the long grass until the new year.

Mr Grayling replied: 'No. I'm telling you there are discussions going on all throughout the week an dim confident we will get to the point by the time we reach the European council we will have an agreement and be able to go o to constructive trade talks.’ 

Mrs May has exactly one week until the EU summit in Brussels where member states will decide whether to approve her final proposals on the Irish border, citizens rights and the Brexit divorce bill and move on to trade talks.

Lee Davies‏ said on Twitter: 'Oh my God, @BBCBreakfast's Charlie Stayt grilling Chris Grayling MP. Best interview I've seen in a long time. Actual serious questions and not accepting rhetoric as answers. Bravo!'  

Geoff Hall replied to a tweet from BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg about the Radio 4 interview and said: 'Best interviewer Charlie Stayt, he really tried to make him answer the difficult questions that Grayling did not want to answer.

'Did it very calmly and politely therefore effective.' 

Twitter user Lou said: Chris Grayling got crucified by Charlie Stayt on BBC Breakfast, rightly so, but trotting out the same platitudes on R4Today.

'Inept doesn't seem to be a strong enough word for this joke of a govt.' 

User Brutus or Brett said: 'I wish Dan Walker would be more of a bad a** like Charlie Stayt when interviewing politicians.'

But while many viewers went wild for the grilling on Twitter, others were more critical and wondered aloud why cabinet ministers subject themselves to the 'snooty' questioning.

Theresa May faces a frantic scramble to get the crunch talks back on track, her Brexit -backing Transport Secretary toured the television studios this morning to bat for the Government.
Theresa May faces a frantic scramble to get the crunch talks back on track, her Brexit -backing Transport Secretary toured the television studios this morning to bat for the Government.

Theresa May faces a frantic scramble to get the crunch talks back on track, her Brexit -backing Transport Secretary toured the television studios this morning to bat for the Government.

 

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