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Nick Ferrari pulled the plug on a Tory MP who refused 9 times to answer his Lee Anderson ‘Islamophobe’ question and even a stopped clock and all that

You don’t have to be a fan of Nick Ferrari – thank goodness for that, you might think – to applaud his response today after he attempted to get a response from Conservative MP and minister for countering illegal immigration Michael Tomlinson about Lee Anderson.

Specifically, about former Tory party deputy chair Anderson’s remarks over the weekend when he claimed that ‘Islamists’ had ‘got control’ of London mayor, Sadiq Khan.

Many Tory MPs including the PM himself, Rishi Sunak, have said Anderson’s remarks were ‘wrong’ but have been reluctant to go any further.

So Ferrari thought he’d ask Tomlinson. And here’s what happened next.

Extraordinary scenes. Here’s a lovely bit of analysis from the Guardian’s live politics blog, written today by Andrew Sparrow.

‘It was a slice of radio that perfectly captured how moronic government ministers sound when they slavishly parrot the line to take from No 10, when they lack the wit or nous to dodge a question without making it too obvious. Listeners must have been cheering when Ferrari pushed the ejector seat button, and it would be nice if other presenters did this a bit more often too.

;But the episode also illustrates why the Lee Anderson row is so difficult for Sunak and the Conservative party. No 10 does not want ministers describing what Anderson said as racist or Islamophobic (even though Anderson himself has subtly distanced himself from the core part of his allegation against Khan last week – see below) because it wants to draw a line under this affair. And that is for three reasons: 1) Anderson has significant support amongst Tories (again, see below); 2) conceding Anderson’s comment was racist would open Suella Braverman up to the same charge; and 3) this would also accelerate a wider debate about Islamophobia in the Conservative party, which Sunak would rather avoid.’

And here’s a flavour of what everyone else made of it.