A British TV presenter has sparked anger online after quizzing New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on everything from her thoughts on feminism to her plans to marry her partner.
Sitting down with interviewer Victoria Derbyshire on her BBC show, during her current visit to the UK, the PM, 38, was forced to laugh off questions on her personal life and her relationship with long-time partner Clarke Gayford.
While the discussion covered everything from the aftermath of the no-deal Brexit, to the murder of British backpacker Grace Millane and the changing global world order, it was Derbyshire’s final questions that raised eyebrows.
Asking Ardern if she had any plans to propose to to her partner, or whether she wants to wait for him, Ardern laughed out loud before answering awkwardly: “No I would not ask, no.”
"I want to put [my partner] through the torture and pain of having to agonise about that question himself"
— Victoria Derbyshire (@VictoriaLIVE) January 21, 2019
From there, Derbyshire branched out further by asking the politician if she’s a feminist, to which she said: “Oh absolutely, absolutely I am a feminist. But no, I want to put him through the pain and torture of having to agonise about that question himself.”
She added: “That’s letting him off the hook, absolutely not.”
Derbyshire simply replied: “Ok fair enough, we await that day.”
Elsewhere in the chat, Derbyshire covered Ardern’s pressure juggling motherhood with politics, and asked whether she ever felt any guilt being so busy.
“The guilt of whether or not I’m a good enough daughter, sister, partner, mother… show me a woman who doesn’t,” she added.
Ardern insisted she’s “a mother, not a superwoman” and slammed the claim that her job has made her some kind of hero.
The line of questioning has since come under some fire both online and by New Zealand-based political commentator Bryce Edward, who told the Guardian it was unusual to question a politician’s feminist credentials.
“Such a question is actually very surprising, and the prime minister’s reaction suggested that she was entirely surprised by it,” Edward said. “Certainly a lot of New Zealanders would see such probing of the prime minister about her relationship with her partner and her plans for marriage as being inappropriate.”
Meanwhile, one Twitter user wrote: “Why the hell any journalist care about @jacindaardern personal life, leave her, she running our beautiful country quite well, most of us happy. Take your unruly Hippies back if u want to do us a favour.”
Another added: “In stead of taking a jab at Jacinda Ardern’s feminism maybe Victoria Derbyshire should look at her sexist interview questions, including asking Ardern how she balances motherhood and running a country and whether she feels guilty about it.”
However, several others enjoyed the chat and one viewer commented: “I watched Victoria Derbyshire’s interview with the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. She was so happy and friendly it warmed the cockles of your heart. What a lovely lady, and well deserved her appointment.”