Daily Mail freelance thrown out of Irish embassy Christmas party for heckling ambassador over Brexit

A Daily Mail freelance journalist was thrown out of a party at the Irish Embassy in London after heckling the ambassador during a speech.

Joanna Bell heckled Irish ambassador Adrian O’Neill when he touched on the impact Brexit could have on Northern Ireland and the possibility of a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

The Irish Times, which revealed Bell as the heckler, reported her as having shouted “boring” and “Brexit” before being removed from the annual Political and Press reception on Monday.

The event was attended by Chancellor Philip Hammond and Northern Ireland secretary Karen Bradley, according to Politico.

Speaking to the Irish Times, Bell said she was a “staunch Brexiteer” despite voting Remain in the 2016 EU referendum.

In a statement to the paper offering an apology to the ambassador, she said: “Obviously, I profoundly regret the excessive robustness and perhaps lack of finesse with which I expressed my disagreement with the ambassador.

“I had, I confess, enjoyed a good lunch with an eccentric aristocrat who is a staunch Brexiteer”

She claimed her removal followed the ambassador’s suggestion that a second Brexit referendum should take place, but other sources have said it was simply a joke about the country’s future options.

Politico reported that O’Neill also joked about the idea of a “Rolling Stones Brexit” and named Stones songs he thought captured feelings about the Brexit deal.

The Daily Mail declined to comment. Press Gazette has also contacted Bell for comment.

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