Diane Abbott massively understates Labour's local election losses in second car crash interview of week

It comes just days after a ‘disastrous’ interview that saw the shadow Home Secretary struggle to give clear numbers on Labour’s plan to add 10,000 new police officer roles

Chantal da Silva
Friday 05 May 2017 16:07
Dianne Abbott contradicts herself on Labour net losses on local elections

Diane Abbott is facing fresh criticism after underestimating the number of net losses Labour has suffered in local elections in a television interview with ITN on Friday.

It comes just days after the shadow Home Secretary’s “car crash” interview with LBC, which saw Ms Abbott struggle to give clear numbers on Labour’s plan to add 10,000 new police officer roles.

After being asked in an interview with ITV if she knew the number of net losses so far for Labour, the shadow Home Secretary said: “At the time of us doing this interview, I think the net losses are about 50.”

The interviewer corrected her, saying: “They’re actually 125 net losses so far.”

The shadow Home Secretary then tried to clarify, responding with: “Well, the last time I looked, we had net losses of 100, but obviously this is a moving picture.”

It comes just days after the shadow Home Secretary’s “car crash” interview with LBC, which saw Ms Abbott struggle to give clear numbers on Labour’s plan to add 10,000 new police officer roles.

During an interview with LBC on Tuesday she put the cost at figures between £300,000 and £80m.

Ms Abbott was later forced to listen to the interview when she appeared on the BBC’s Daily Politics programme.

She defended her performance on the show, telling the BBC presenter: “If I didn't know my figures, why was I able to do six other interviews and give the figures correctly?”

Ms Abbott said that she had “misspoke” on the seventh interview.

Critics have accused Ms Abbott once again of not knowing her numbers.

“Oh Diane, just stop doing maths. Really, it isn’t your strong suit,” Conservative politician James Cleverly wrote on Twitter.

One Twitter user quipped: “@HackneyAbbott knows there are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who cannot.”

Another simply tweeted out an image with the shadow Home Secretary photoshopped in front of a numbers round of the game show Countdown, with illegible numbers written on the board.

​The Labour party has yet to make any comment on Friday’s gaffe.