Sir Keir Starmer accused of crossing his fingers on growth
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s plans for government spectacularly unravelled as he was grilled in a major interview on the first day of the Labour conference in Liverpool.
The BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire repeatedly asked him where the economic growth was coming from to pay for Labour’s eye-watering spending commitments.
But as the Labour leader floundered to explain where it would happen, a frustrated Ms Derbyshire said: “It sounds like you are crossing your fingers.”
In a back and forth, she said: “If you don’t get that growth that means there won’t be any money for public services.”
Sir Keir retorted: “I am confident we will get that growth. It is the single defining mission of an incoming Labour government.”
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In what became a car crash interview, Sir Keir tried to claim that he had five targets for the next five to 10 years.
Again Ms Derbyshire asked: “What happens if you don’t get it?”
Sir Keir replied: “I’m confident we will get it.”
But Ms Derbyshire dismissively said: “It sounds like you are crossing your fingers.”
The embarrassing showdown for the Labour leader on the national broadcaster came as he also struggled to say how he would persuade nurses and doctors to work at weekends.
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His plans to bring down waiting lists involve them working extra hours but Ms Derbyshire pointed out that they would get more money doing extra hours in the private health sector.
Sir Keir insisted nurses and doctors “want to do this”.
But she retorted: “They have also got to pay the bills.”
When she grilled him on his house-building programme and the Labour leader struggled to explain, she said: “It sounds like you are not going to build any houses at all.”
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