BBC Newsnight host slaps down Reform candidate in heated row – ‘let me communicate’

Victoria Derbyshire was forced to stop a Reform UK candidate from repeatedly talking over her during an ill-tempered interview on BBC Newsnight.

Ben Habib, who is co-deputy leader of Nigel Farage’s party along with Dr David Bull, interrupted the presenter and changed the topic multiple times during his appearance on the show on Monday evening. But she finally snapped back during one part of the interview as she questioned him over Reform’s proposals for the NHS.

The awkward moment began with Mr Habib claiming his party would “stem the outflow” from frontline NHS staff from frontline NHS staff, before trying to speak over her and change the topic to immigration, which he claimed was the “elephant in the room”.

Reform's Ben Habib was told 'let me speak' by Victoria Derbyshire

Reform’s Ben Habib was told ‘let me speak’ by Victoria Derbyshire

But Victoria Derbyshire was not impressed, telling him “let me speak” before finally saying: “No, I’m going to pause you because I’m asking the questions if that’s okay”. He then told the Newsnight host that she was “not letting me answer”, but she quickly responded: “I really am – you keep answering with a question back.”

Mr Habib also appeared tense and irritated during a later segment when she pressed him on the party’s stance on the teaching of British history. Ms Derbyshire said: “I’m going to put this quote to you if I may, from David Olusoga, British historian. I asked him for his reaction to what you’d written in your manifesto. He said this to me: Striving for balance in history is illiterate. This is not economics – this is about fomenting divisions in order to win votes.”

Victoria Derbyshire was not impressed with his attempts to speak over her

Victoria Derbyshire was not impressed with his attempts to speak over her

Mr Habib replied: “Absolute garbage! I’ll tell you what foments division – it is so-called notion of diversity, equality and inclusion, which is the regulatory and legal framework that government has put in place in order to champion and celebrate ethnic minorities, religious minorities and transgender ideology and all that sort of thing, over and above and largely to the detriment of the majority of the people in this country.

“It is kind of a form of reverse racism. That’s the kind of thing that needs to be got rid of, we would get rid of DEI and what we would require is that all people are recognised to be equal.”

Ben Habib was criticised earlier this year when he said migrants who “scupper” their dinghy in the English Channel should “suffer the consequences of their actions”. He later said the comments had been taken out of context.