Sky’s Dermot Murnaghan and Labour’s Chuka Umunna have heated exchange over Eric Pickles letter

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Sky’s Dermot Murnaghan and Labour’s Chuka Umunna have heated exchange over Eric Pickles letter

Labour MP Chuka Umunna had a heated on-air exchange with Sky’s Dermot Murnaghan this afternoon after he objected to questions about his views on a letter sent out to UK mosques.

The letter from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to more than 1,000 imams in England urges them to do more to root out extremists and prevent young people being radicalised.

Umunna said he couldn’t say if the letter was “patronising” as he hadn’t read the letter, adding that he had been invited on to talk about David Cameron’s speech on the economy.

Murnaghan suggested the Labour frontbencher could come back on Sky News in half an hour once he has read the letter.

You’re being “ridiculous”, said Umunna, adding: “Nobody told me that I was going to come on this programme and be asked to agree whether I thought the Government was patronising Muslim people and Muslim leaders.

“I’m not just going to speak off piste without actually having read a letter. I don’t think you are being terribly fair.”

Updated: Monday 19 January 2015
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