Thornberry Brings Down Fallon On BBC
Defence Secretary forced to admit Assad party
TORY so-called “attack dog” and Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon suffered a serious mauling on live TV yesterday in being exposed for having celebrated the re-election of Syrian President Bashar Assad a decade ago.
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry pulled him up on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show for his hypocrisy in criticising Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for engaging in peace talks in Northern Ireland 30 years ago.
Sir Michael was left stuttering and floundering when Ms Thornberry asked him where he was on May 27 2007. “No, but I’m sure you’re going to tell me,” he replied.
She continued: “You were in Syria and you were celebrating, at a reception, the reelection of President Assad with 99 per cent of the vote.
“Now I am not going to judge you on your going to a reception for Assad, and I don’t think you should judge Jeremy for trying to talk to people who might be open to a settlement in Northern Ireland.”
Suddenly remembering his visit, Sir Michael squirmed: “There is a little bit of a difference. It was a parliamentary visit. An all-party visit. MPs have gone every year during better times in the relationship.”
Ms Thornberry said: “But you were at a party.”
He responded: “I don’t recall any party. I remember a fact-finding visit to Syria.”
Andrew Marr intervened: “But did you meet Assad when you were there?”
Sir Michael: “I did meet Assad. Indeed.”
Mr Marr: “Did you shake his hand?”
Sir Michael: “Indeed I met Assad.”
Ms Thornberry: “And you celebrated his re-election.”
Sir Michael: “I did not celebrate his re-election.”
Ms Thornberry: “But that was what the reception was for. It was a celebration of his re-election.”
Western countries had on-off relationships with the Syrian regime before the civil war.
During the 2000s it was a favourite destination for the US to send kidnapped people to be tortured.
Ms Thornberry continued by saying Sir Michael had earlier claimed that she had wanted to negotiate “the future of the Falklands.”
“That is bollocks,” she said.
“There is an election and people need to make decisions on the basis of truth.”
After he raised the issue of the Falklands again, she said: “Oh, come on Michael! You really cannot just make this up as you go along.
“People need to make decisions in the general election based on facts and based on information, proper information, and it isn’t right for you to go slinging around dead cats the way that you do.”