'Do You Think It's Funny?': Kay Burley Clashes With Grant Shapps Over Tory Sleaze

Kay Burley clashed with Grant Shapps this morning in the wake of another Tory sleaze scandal.

The Sky News presenter grilled the defence secretary after Mark Menzies became the latest Conservative MP to lose the party whip.

He is accused of using Tory campaign funds to pay off “bad people” he claimed had locked him in a flat, as well as for medical bills.

Menzies, the MP for Flyde in Lancashire, denies the allegations but has agreed to “relinquish” the Tory whip while the party investigates the claims, which were first reported by The Times.

As Burley grilled Shapps on the claims, he said: “I thought I was coming on to talk about the situation in Iran and the Middle East.”

Burley replied: “We’ll come to that, Mr Shapps. In the next door constituency of Blackpool South, the whip was removed from Scott Benton over a lobbying scandal.

Peter Bone, a former Conservative MP, [lost the whip] for sexual bullying, Neil Parish for viewing porn or was it tractors in the chamber of the House of Commons. Chris Pincher allegedly molesting men at the Carlton Club.

“Eight independent MPs, former Tories. What is that saying about your party and the state of British politics this morning.”

Shapps said: “I understand what you’re driving at here. I thought I was coming on to talk about two wars in the world and you’re pressing me about some issues that I’m not particularly close to.”

As the defence secretary appeared to smirk, Burley asked him: “Do you think it’s funny, Mr Shapps?”

He replied: “I don’t think it’s funny, no one said it was funny, Kay.”

Burley said: “You seemed to be smirking about it. I’m asking you about the state of British politics this morning.”

The minister responded: “I’m not, you’re just pursuing a line of questioning about something which I didn’t come on to talk about because there two world wars, wars in the world, going on.”

Burley then interrupted him to point out: “They’re not world wars at the moment, Mr Shapps, and I’ll come onto those.

“I want to ask you about your party’s previous Tory MPs. At least eight of them are now independent MPs and I’ve listed why they are not any longer representing their constituencies as members of the Conservative Party.

“I’m asking you what people in those constituencies should be thinking about the Conservative Party ahead of the next general election.”

A clearly-annoyed Shapps replied: “I think you’re trying to draw a thread between all of them. There are MPs from other parties who have experienced similar problems or misdemeanours and it’s right that there are processes in place, but I can’t really add much to this.”