Diane Abbott forced to listen back to car-crash interview in excruciating live TV appearance

Shadow Home Secretary compounds interview woes

Jon Stone
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 02 May 2017 13:35
Diane Abbott forced to listen back to car-crash interview on live TV

Diane Abbott has compounded a stumbling radio interview with a follow-up television interview in which she appeared not to know how much she would be raising taxes by.

The shadow home secretary seemed unaware of the rate Labour would be raising capital gains taxes to or from in a follow-up appearance on television this afternoon.

Labour today announced that it would be recruiting 10,000 police officers paid for by reversing cuts to capital gains tax introduced by the Conservatives.

Ms Abbott, who was sent out to sell the policy, however appeared unaware of its detail in a radio interview on LBC. In one interview she gave estimates of how much the new officers would cost ranging from £300,000 to £80 million. She also made several estimates of the number of officers to be recruited per year, ranging from 25,000 to 250,000.

Appearing on the BBC’s Daily Politics programme later the same afternoon she defended her performance, telling the presenter: “I did seven interviews this morning. In that seventh interview I misspoke.”

But asked repeatedly what the rate of capital gains tax was and what she would be raising it to in order to fund the policy she appeared unable to say.

“We are going to reverse the cuts to capital gains tax in order to fund a number of things including the 10,000 police officers,” she said, when asked specifically about the rate.

“We currently have some of the lowest rates of corporation tax in Europe

Asked again about what the rate was and would be, she said: “We will bring them back to where they were before, that’s the point.”

Asked again she said: “The point is that it will save us nearly £2.7 billion. Tat’s what we’re going to use both to pay for the 10,000 policemen and for other areas of our manifesto.”

She concluded: “We will produce a manifesto that is costed and is paid for.

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