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VIDEO: Kay Burley ’empty chairs’ James Cleverly on Sky News after Tory chairman’s no-show

© Jeff Overs/PA WireJames Cleverly
James Cleverly

Sky News presenter Kay Burley gave Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly the “empty chair” treatment after claiming he had missed a planned appearance on her breakfast show.

Sitting next to a vacant seat which Ms Burley claimed was “supposed to be filled” by the politician, she said: “Where is he? He’s probably 15 feet away from where I’m standing just at the moment.

“I’ve been in to see him during the break, he said he wasn’t due to come and talk to us today although they had said that they would talk to us.”

Ms Burley then listed a number of topics she had hoped to discuss with Mr Cleverly, including Jacob Rees-Mogg’s recent controversial comments about the Grenfell Tower tragedy and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s comparison of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to Joseph Stalin.

“I know that Number 10 Downing Street watch our show,” Ms Burley said.

“I know that the spin doctors at Number 10 Downing Street had absolutely reassured me via text that when politicians were doing the rounds in the morning, they would be doing this programme – and yet, we have an empty chair.”

Mr Cleverly responded on Twitter by saying he was doing a TalkRadio interview during the segment.

“I’m good at multitasking but cannot be in two studios at the same time,” he added.

TalkRadio’s Julia Hartley-Brewer tweeted: “Er, the reason @JamesCleverly was not on @SkyNews was because he had not been booked on that show.

“He had been booked into a studio to talk to me on @talkRADIO at that time. Which he then did – and was asked many of those same questions.”