Union Jack: Dr Sarah Jarvis and Mike Parry clash over UK flag
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A furious debate over the Union Jack erupted on Jeremy Vine on Friday as Dr Sarah Jarvis and Mike Parry locked horns over the connotations of the flag’s use by politicians. The panellists fundamentally disagreed on whether the flag was a symbol of nationalism or not, with Dr Jarvis labelling the use of the Jack as “patriot signalling”. The debate over the flag comes as BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty was forced by BBC bosses to apologise after liking an “offensive” Tweet that criticised the flag.
Dr Sarah Jarvis was asked by host Jeremy Vine whether it is ok to have the British flag behind politicians.
The GP said: “No, I don’t I would call it patriot signalling.”
She added how “suddenly we are out of Europe” and that politicians have “got to have a flag got to prove that we are part of the party.”
But speaking from home, panellist Mike Parry took a very different stance from Dr Jarvis.
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He replied; “What’s wrong with that?”
She replied that because these politicians are public servants “they’re meant to be there for everyone.”
The physician continued by saying: “I’ve got a lot of patients who still feel racism very acutely and if a public servant like an MP can have it, why doesn’t a GP have it?
“Would you feel comfortable if I had it in my consultancy room? Because I wouldn’t.”
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But Mike Parry insisted that if he were a doctor he “would have a Union Jack.”
He defended the use of the flag by adding that Americans have “been doing for years when you see the press briefings in the White House.”
The debate descended further when Mr Parry said how “nobody ever complained about European politicians when we were in the EU having hundreds of European blue and yellow starred flags around them all the time.”
Dr Jarvis hit back suggesting instead that “nobody used the European flag to signal that they were racist”.
The furious debate came Naga Munchetty was been reprimanded by BBC bosses for liking anti-Conservative tweets about her BBC Breakfast co-host Charlie Stayt mocking Robert Jenrick’s Union flag.
One tweet she liked read: “The flag s*****s will be up in arms.”
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Another read: “Should be done every time the Tories roll out one of the talking head ministers”.
In an apology Munchetty said: “This do not represent the views of me or the BBC. I apologise for any offence taken. Naga.”
Ms Munchetty and BBC Breakfast co-host Charlie Stayt had previously faced backlash after Mr Stay appeared to mock Housing Secretary Rober Jenrick over the “small” Union Jack displayed behind him during a recent interview.
In the interview in question with Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Charlie Stayt said: “I think your flag is not up to standard size government interview…measurements.
“I think it’s just a little bit small. But that’s your department really!”
Munchetty was heard giggling in the background and Stayt continued: “Just a thought.”
When the camera returned to the studio Munchetty commented: “The picture of the queen,” but she was interrupted as Stayt wanted to explain his remark: “You’ll be aware, we’ve seen it [the Union Jack flag] every day.”
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