Viewers related to exasperated Emily Maitlis during Newsnight’s debrief on the Brexit vote

The newsreader gave the perfect reaction to another politician unable to give a straight answer

Emily Maitlis Newsnight

At some point in the recent past, you’ve probably been visibly annoyed by a politician avoiding a straight answer to a straight question. But, unlike Emily Maitlis, you probably didn’t do it while presenting BBC1’s Newsnight live on TV.


While dissecting the second rejection of Theresa May’s EU Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons on 12th March, the newsreader was spotted giving an expert-level side-eye when speaking to Labour’s Barry Gardiner.

Turning to the MP, Maitlis asked: “If there is a general election called next week – which there is every likelihood could happen – what will be on your manifesto? What Brexit vision will be on your manifesto then?”

To which Mr Gardiner replied: “To negotiate the deal that we have set out—”

“That’s going to be on the leaflet?” Maitlis interjected, spotting the dodge.

When Gardiner then continued to avoid the question (“We will decide what our manifesto position is as we normally do…”), the presenter sighed, leant back and gifted viewers a glorious eye roll before frantically scribbling notes on her paper.

And viewers at home were loving Maitlis’ reaction, saying she captured the “mood of the country”.

Of course, Maitlis wouldn’t be the first presenter to show their frustration with the news, with BBC’s Simon McCoy known for his, shall we say, underwhelmed reaction to any royal baby announcements.

But Maitlis was allowed a brief respite from the stress of a busy day in Westminster – earlier in the afternoon, she was spotted blowing off some steam by boogying with Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman during their 24-hour danceathon for Comic Relief.


There’s nothing like a disco ball and a dance floor to briefly banish the Brexit blues…

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