A Conservative MP has been embroiled in a row with an infamous Westminster heckler about who is the “village idiot”.
Andrew Bridgen was being interviewed by Faisal Islam on BBC Newsnight when he was dragged into a back-and-forth with Steve Bray, the campaigner notorious for shouting anti-Brexit and anti-government slogans during broadcast interviews.
Bray was holding up a placard which read “A Crock Of Shit” as he barracked Bridgen while being questioned about government plans for the BBC.
When Islam brought up the “distraction” behind Bridgen on College Green, the MP described Bray as a “village idiot”.
Bray replied: “No, the village idiot is in front of the camera. A liar, a cheat and a charlatan.”
While the Tory MP and Newsnight host attempted to continue their interview, Bray added: “That’s you, Mr Bridgen.”
In 2019, Bray stood as a general election candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Wales, but lost his deposit in the Cynon Valley seat.
Bridgen has been among many Tory backbench critics of the Beeb, railling against “the BBC’s ingrained anti-Conservative bias”.
The government on Monday confirmed a two-year freeze of the BBC’s licence fee. The corporation said it will lead to “tougher choices” that will impact on viewers.
Bosses branded the move “disappointing” as culture secretary Nadine Dorries even came under criticism from her own side while arguing it was necessary to tackle the rising cost of living.
As she also confirmed a review of the licence fee’s existence in the future, Labour accused the Cabinet minister of trying to distract from Boris Johnson’s woes while waging a “vendetta” against the BBC.