Andrew Neil grilled Chuka Umunna on his relationship with French President Emmanuel Macron after the former Labour MP refused to confirm or deny he kept in touch with Mr Macron through text. The BBC This Week host had Mr Umunna squirming after asking him to confirm the Streatham MP had a picture of the French President in his office. Mr Neil said: "Is it true you’ve got a picture of President Macron on your wall?"
Mr Umunna admitted to sharing a picture of himself with Mr Macron on Instagram after meeting him while still serving as shadow Business Secretary – before Mr Macron was elected President of France.
Mr Neil challenged him again: "And you text him?"
The Independent MP tried to wiggle out of the question, saying he was not going to comment on "the contact I may have had with the President of France." His response prompted the BBC host to hit back: "I’ll take that as a yes."
Mr Neil also asked Mr Umunna to cite other examples worldwide of centrist parties winning public support with their policy, pointing out the flaws of each response he gave.
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Brexit news: Neil shut down Umunna's attempts to defend his new political group (Image: BBC)
The BBC This Week presenter said: "Where in the world are centrists doing well at the moment?"
Mr Umunna cited Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is currently embroiled in a political scandal over alleged pressuring on former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, and again President Macron as prime examples of working centrism.
However, Mr Neil rebuked the suggestion of France with latest polling figures showing support for Mr Macron had plummeted: "You’ve seen the Gilets Jaunes?
"I’ve looked it up and the latest polls say he’s still around 30 and starting to fall again."