Oh dear. Our new Housing Secretary does not seem to have made a very impressive start judging by yesterday’s performance on the Today programme.
To be fair, Robert Jenrick was being interviewed (or ‘skewered’ as one critic put it) by the formidable John Humphrys.
Nevertheless it didn’t go down well with the audience.
Jenrick was asked by Humphrys if he supported Boris Johnson’s choice of wording when he said there was a “terrible collaboration going on between people who think they can block Brexit in parliament and our European friends”.
The problem with the word ‘collaboration’ is that it is strongly associated with supporters of the Nazis.
Indeed, three years ago Johnson provoked criticism when he accused the EU of having the “same goal as Hitler in wanting to create an European super-state”.
So did Jenrick support Johnson’s use of ‘collaboration’?
We may never know.
The irritated Humphrys asked the question three times without getting an answer. He gave it a fourth go, to which Jenrick replied: “I’m explaining the prime minister’s words, which I 100% support.”
There remain sceptics as to whether this really did answer the question.
Former Sun editor David Yelland tweeted: “That interview with Robert Jenrick was one of the worst performances of any Brexit minister.”
Labour MP Barry Sheerman said: “I can’t remember a worse performance by a minister as Robert Jenrick struggles to cope with the simplest question.”