A Conservative MEP has committed the cardinal sin of TV interviews, by losing his his cool and storming off camera. Ashley Fox's furious reaction was captured on film by BBC Sunday Politics South West, who wanted to know why the pro-EU MEP did not want to debate Brexit campaigners Dan Hannan and David Campbell Bannerman.
"Just to begin with, can I ask why you didn't want to debate the issue of leaving or remaining within the EU with a Conservative MEP with opposing views?", the interviewer asked. Fox, who represents South West England and Gibraltar, then charged off set. "Well, now... I'm not going to do this... I'm not going to play this stupid game," he declared.
A Tory press officer is then heard branding Fox "a bit naughty". The walkout comes after IBTimes UK bumped into Hannan at the premiere of Brexit: The Movie on 11 May. The Eurosceptic insisted that media talk of a Conservative civil war over the EU referendum was "overblown".
"I remember the early '90s being much more fraught than now because it was about whether you were rebelling against party policy, whereas this time it's a referendum and you are free to take either position," the Tory MEP said. "Almost all of us have friends on both sides, indeed most of us have family on both sides."
Meanwhile, former Conservative Prime Minister Sir John Major is expected to launch a scathing attack against 'leave' supporters on 13 May. The pro-EU campaigner will claim Brexit campaigners are "morphing into Ukip".