The National:

BBC Newsnight interview slipped out of control for both presenter Faisal Islam and north-west Leicestershire Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, as a local “village idiot” (Bridgen’s words, not ours) heckled him off-camera.

As Bridgen was reporting live for backstabbing duty from the lush grounds of Westminster’s College Green to discuss his letter of no-confidence in Boris Johnson - a letter surely saved in “template” file on his PC, given he’s previously sent one to David Cameron and at least drafted one to Theresa May - Steve Bray (said village idiot) jumps in to ask: “37 billion pounds Mr Bridgen, where has it gone?”.

The National:

(Bray’s reference is to the much-criticised NHS Test and Trace contracts, which were handed out to outsourcing firm Serco at the start of the pandemic.) As Bridgen struggles to hear with his little “distraction” piping up in the background, his decision to dub Bray a “village idiot” backfires as the anti-Brexit protester retorts: “The village idiot is in front of the camera. A liar, a cheat, and a charlatan. That’s you.”

Bridgen, who made his fortune in his younger years by diversifying his family’s market-gardening business by introducing pre-washed vegetables, clutches his earpiece, trying desperately to focus on the task at hand: throwing Johnson under the bus.

As Islam attempts to move the interview on, Steve Bray placidly wanders on screen, bearing double-sided placards which read “Save Our Democracy”, “Get Johnson Out Of Our Democracy” (which, to be fair, Bridgen could ask for a shot of himself) “Toxic Tories Destroying Our Nation” and a bright red placard reading “What A Crock Of Sh**!”.

The National:

Fittingly - perhaps inspired by the red sign - Bridgen took to Twitter this morning to address the incident, defending Bray’s right to protest: “Last night as I was appearing on @BBCNewsnight I was heckled by full time protestor Steve Bray.

“I disagree with pretty much everything he says and how he says it but the right to protest is an important one, and it's a right protected by the PCSC Bill,” he wrote.

Contentious aspects of the bill include plans to grant police the authority to stop protesters if they are deemed to be causing “serious annoyance”. Police would be able to impose a start and end time, set “noise limits” and apply these rules to a protest even by just one person. Perhaps Bridgen defending Bray’s right to protest with the legislation in this bill is his own way of telling the village idiot that he secretly loves a bit of nuisance? Have at him Steve! Either way, Bridgen’s inability to understand the implications of his own party’s legislation makes one wonder: perhaps he should have stuck to working out the best way to get the dirt off a cabbage? Or even better, get the dirt off himself.