1 March 2013
Was the Conservative candidate gagged after losing Eastleigh?
Maria Hutchings, defeated Conservative Party candidate in yesterday's Eastleigh by-election, has provided another remarkable video-clip for my collection.
What's so peculiar about it is the 'interviewees' determined refusal to say anything at all, accompanied by an unchangingly static facial expression.
Opening questions fishing for her view on what had gone wrong, such as "Why did you do so badly?" and "You came third in a two-horse race - what went wrong?" quickly gave way to her silence as the main focus of reporters' attention: "Why won't you say anything?"; "Have you been gagged?" and "This is unbelievable."
And there was indeed something very 'unbelievable' about it, as it's so rare for a politician to refrain from speaking to the media, even in the face of such difficult questions, that I too was left wondering whether Ms Hutchings had been 'gagged' by her party machine...