A protester on BBC News summed up the budget Brexit chaos

A protest about Brexit during a BBC budget show
Steve Topple

A protest during a live BBC News broadcast summed up the chaos in government over Brexit and the budget. In all honesty, the protester seemed to have more idea of what was going on than Tory ministers do.

Brexit mess!

At just after 2:10pm on Monday 29 October, the BBC News channel was broadcasting from outside parliament. Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds and Conservative James Cleverly were discussing the budget. But a ‘Stop Brexit’ protester saw an opportunity to get his message out there.

The wily demonstrator can be seen sidling into shot, perhaps pondering how camera shy he was feeling:

A Brexit protester coming into shot on BBC News

He quickly took centre stage during the interview:

A second image of a Brexit protest on BBC News

He then got up-close and personal with the MPs:

The first image from a protest on BBC News

A third image of a Brexit protest on BBC News

The BBC didn’t stop his protest. But his “Brexit Mess” sign also summed up nicely the day’s chaos in the Conservative Party.

Budget mess!

As BBC News reported, chancellor Philip Hammond spoke to Andrew Marr on Sunday 28 October. He said that if there was a ‘no-deal’ Brexit:

We would need to look at a different strategy and frankly we’d need to have a new Budget that set out a different strategy for the future.

But as HuffPost reported on Monday 29 October, Theresa May’s office rubbished Hammond’s claim. A spokesperson said:

All of the spending commitments that the Chancellor will set out today are funded irrespective of a deal

Perpetual mess!

This blue-on-blue chaos was noted by Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell:

But it also underscores the growing Conservative chaos over Brexit. And it perhaps signals a problem in the relationship between the PM and her chancellor. For her office to slap him down hours before he takes to the dispatch box is quite staggering. More trouble ahead for the most troubled government in living memory? Brexit could be the least of its worries.

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Steve Topple