International Trade Secretary Liam Fox today vented his anger at the mainstream media in the House of Commons chamber, where he accused media organisations of not wanting Brexit to succeed.
“Mr speaker, it does appear that some elements of our media would rather see Britain fail than Brexit succeed,” said Fox.
The comments sparked outrage on social media, with James Chapman – formerly the chief of staff to Brexit Secretary David Davis – saying his comments were “entirely wrong: it’s the duty and responsibility of free media to question Brexit. I’d argue they haven’t yet scratched surface.”
Number 10 quickly distanced itself from the comments, releasing a statement which said “the Prime Minister has always been clear about the need to have a free press and a free media in this country.”
Mr Fox said he’s particularly wary of the BBC’s economic coverage, saying that he “cannot recall a single time in recent times when I’ve seen good economic news that the BBC didn’t describe as ‘despite Brexit’”.
His words echoed those of his front-bench ally Andrea Leadsom, who last month called for the media to be “a bit patriotic” in their Brexit coverage.
“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,” she told Newsnight.