Matthew Taylor

Sunday shows round-up: what’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done Boris?

Sunday shows round-up: what's the naughtiest thing you've ever done Boris?
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Boris Johnson - I deliver where it matters

The Prime Minister showed his face once again this morning, appearing in a pre-recorded interview with Sophy Ridge. With voters heading to the polls this Thursday, Ridge began by asking Johnson whether people could trust him, a theme that has featured throughout the campaign:

“We can get out on January 31st.”@BorisJohnson tells @SophyRidgeSky “it was very frustrating” not being able to deliver Brexit in October but parliament made it “impossible” to leave.#Ridge#GE2019

Get live updates #GeneralElection2019 here: https://t.co/26sueac4Fr pic.twitter.com/WGzOrUETs9

— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) December 8, 2019

BJ: If you look at what I do as a politician – what I say I'm going to do, and I do – I have a record I think, of delivering for people where it really matters. Whether that's running London, where I was able to cut crime very substantially, or deliver more affordable homes than people thought we ever could, cut delays on the tube by 30 per cent, [or] a pretty successful Olympic Games, I deliver.

Britain and Northern Ireland should have 'unfettered access'

Ridge asked about the implications of the Prime Minister's Brexit deal for Northern Ireland. The deal has raised concerns among the Democratic Unionist Party, and Johnson has contradicted his own Brexit secretary on the nature of post-Brexit trade arrangements across the Irish Sea. A leaked government document has also suggested that there will be extra forms for traders to fill in, but Johnson denied this when confronted about the issue:

“It’s very clear that there should be unfettered access between Northern Ireland and the rest of GB.” @SophyRidgeSky questions @BorisJohnson over post-Brexit border checks on the Northern Irish border.#Ridge #GE2019

Get live updates here: https://t.co/26sueac4Fr pic.twitter.com/V1KGPfJfRv

— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) December 8, 2019

SR: Will there be checks?

BJ: No. Absolutely not... The only checks that there would be, would be if something was coming from GB via Northern Ireland, and was going on to the Republic. Then there might be checks at the border into Northern Ireland... [The deal is] very clear that there should be unfettered access.

There will be 31,000 'new' nurses

Ridge moved on to another commitment made by the Conservatives – to increase the number of NHS nurses by 50,000. The figure has been attacked as dubious because it involves the government retaining nurses who would otherwise have left the profession. The Prime Minister defended his method of counting:

"31,000 is the answer to that."

The Conservatives are promising 50,000 more nurses for the NHS.

But Prime Minister @BorisJohnson admits that only 31,000 will actually be new - the rest are already working for the health service. #Ridge #GE2019

Live: https://t.co/26sueac4Fr pic.twitter.com/oTRIi9y98I

— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) December 8, 2019

SR: How many of those nurses will actually be new?

BJ: 31,000 is the answer to that... There are 19,000 nurses who would leave the system unless we put the investment in now... [Otherwise] we'd be down 19,000.

Immigration 'will come down'

Ridge asked Johnson about immigration levels and the new framework that would be put in place for migrants from EU countries:

"Yes, I can make sure that numbers will come down."@BorisJohnson guarantees @SophyRidgeSky that the level of immigration to the UK will go down if he remains prime minister. #Ridge #GE2019

Get live #GeneralElection2019 updates here: https://t.co/26sueac4Fr pic.twitter.com/ISnRkCk8HZ

— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) December 8, 2019

SR: Can you guarantee that numbers will come down?

BJ: Yes, I can make sure that numbers will come down. Numbers will come down because we will be able to control the system... I think people want to see democratic control.

'We will bear down' on unskilled migration

Given Johnson's previous answer, Ridge challenged him on whether the Australian style 'points-based' system which he favoured would really be successful in reducing numbers:

"We want bear down on migration particularly of unskilled workers who have no job to come to."

Prime Minister,@BorisJohnson says there has "been no control at all" over the levels of immigration.#Ridge #GE2019

Get #GeneralElection2019 updates here: https://t.co/26sueac4Fr pic.twitter.com/1vzEKlUQMa

— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) December 8, 2019

SR: If you want to see lower immigration, why are you adopting a system based on the Australian model, which has higher immigration currently than the UK?

BJ: It depends how you apply it... The Migration Advisory Committee will tell the government what's happening, and we will take a view on how to control it... I've said that what we want to do is bear down on migration, particularly of unskilled workers who have no job to come to.

'What is the naughtiest thing I've ever done...?'

Ridge brought the interview to a close by asking the journalist's favourite on-the-spot question. After floundering for some time, the Prime Minister finally came up with an answer:

"What is the naughtiest thing I’ve ever done?"

The PM struggles to answer, but cycling on the pavement is the naughtiest thing @BorisJohnson is willing to admit to @SophyRidgeSky. 🚴#Ridge #GE2019

Get #GeneralElection2019 updates here: https://t.co/26sueac4Fr pic.twitter.com/DOcofJVHrO

— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) December 8, 2019

SR: What's the naughtiest thing you've ever done?

BJ: ... I may sometimes, when I was riding a bicycle every day... not always obeyed the law about cycling on the pavement... [That's] the naughtiest thing that I'm prepared to admit.

Jonathan Ashworth - Johnson is 'lying' about migration

Ridge next spoke to the Shadow Health Secretary, who accused the Prime Minister of misleading the public over his plans to reduce immigration while increasing the role of the Migration Advisory Committee:

"He's actually misleading people when he says he'd bring immigration down."

Labour's @JonAshworth accuses the PM of "lying to the British people" over the government's pledge to bring immigration levels down.#Ridge #GE2019#GeneralElection2019: https://t.co/26sueac4Fr pic.twitter.com/tBRZEis31H

— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) December 8, 2019

JA: He's trying to give the impression that he's going to bring immigration down, but when you look at the details... he's going to hand over decisions over who will get a visa to an independent committee... There will be no democratic control and no accountability... Again, Boris Johnson is lying to the British people.

Everyone will get free personal care

Ashworth made a pledge that a Labour government would introduce free personal social care for every elderly person who needed it. He told Ridge that the plan would cost an extra £10 billion. Ridge asked if the significant costs could be justified:

"The fact that we've ducked this issue for so long is a disgrace"

Shadow Health Secretary @JonAshworth says Labour is pledging to put £10 billion into social care. He says cuts to the care system are part of why the NHS is under pressure.#Ridge#GE2019https://t.co/26sueac4Fr pic.twitter.com/8bLKif2l1T

— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) December 8, 2019

JA: No one will have to pay anything for the care they get...

SR: No matter how wealthy they are?

JA: This is about ensuring fairness in the system... This issue has been ducked by parties for years.

Nigel Farage - Johnson won't cut immigration

The Brexit party leader also joined Ridge, and he too attacked the Prime Minister over his promise to bring immigration down, arguing that Johnson's record hinted that his heart would not be in it:

"They will make no real commitment to cut the numbers coming in."

Brexit Party leader, @Nigel_Farage says he does not believe Boris Johnson over his promise to bring down immigration levels.#Ridge #GE2019

Get #GeneralElection2019 updates here: https://t.co/26sueac4Fr pic.twitter.com/fzK91uVy6o

— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) December 8, 2019

NF: This is the fourth Conservative manifesto in a row promising to reduce numbers... Boris Johnson has always been very soft on immigration, but you know what? There's an election on, so [he'll] tell people what they want to hear.

The polling industry is 'laughable'

Farage was similarly scathing about the opinion polling companies, which have not shown the Brexit party faring as well as it would hope. It is currently forecast not to pick up any seats in the election. Farage stated that the results on polling day would see him vindicated, and promised to rebrand the Brexit party as the 'Reform party' to stand at future elections:

"The way the polling industry operates is laughable."

Brexit Party leader, @Nigel_Farage promises his party’s voter share will be on “roughly 13 -14%” come election night.#Ridge #GE2019

Get #GeneralElection2019 updates here: https://t.co/26sueac4Fr pic.twitter.com/TskROxFVXA

— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) December 8, 2019

NF: The way the polling industry actually operates is laughable. I promise you when you sit there and see the results coming through... you will see that we are on roughly 13 to 14 per cent.

SR: How many seats do you think you're going to win?

NF: I think there's a handful which we have a seriously good chance of winning, and I think we will get some in. I genuinely do.

Arron Banks 'doesn't understand the numbers'

Farage also took aim at his former colleague Arron Banks, who recommends that Brexit voters should back the Conservatives. Banks' fear is that the Brexit party standing candidates will allow Labour and the Liberal Democrats to make unexpected gains:

"In the Labour areas, we take Labour votes."@Nigel_Farage says Arron Banks "doesn’t understand the numbers" following his comment that the Brexit Party risks letting Lib Dems through.#Ridge #GE2019

Get #GeneralElection2019 updates here: https://t.co/26sueac4Fr pic.twitter.com/1IJ5SKT2QC

— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) December 8, 2019

NF: He doesn't understand the numbers. The Lib Dem seats would have been... in the South... We're not standing in the South.... In Labour areas, we take Labour votes.

Jo Swinson - Tory/Brexit party 'stitch-up' hurts Lib Dems

The Liberal Democrat leader suggested that the Brexit party's withdrawal of candidates had been quite effective at suppressing her party's ambitions:

“Clearly things have changed since the beginning of the campaign.”

Lib Dem leader, @joswinson claims the "stitch up" between Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson makes things more difficult for her party. #Ridge #GE2019

Get #GeneralElection2019 updates: https://t.co/26sueac4Fr pic.twitter.com/W0bhoL7PI2

— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) December 8, 2019

SR: Last month on the show you said 'I'm a candidate to be Prime Minister at his election'. Do you still think that?

JS: ...What we've seen is a cosy stitch-up between Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson... That stitch-up clearly changes the electoral arithmetic and makes it more difficult.

More female leaders will combat sexism

Ridge asked Swinson whether she felt that her unpopularity in the opinion polls was due to her being a female leader. Swinson said that this was possible, but that she was helping in her own way to normalise women in leadership roles:

"We know double-standards apply."

Lib Dem leader, @joswinson is asked about her ‘unfavourable’ approval ratings and whether sexism has played a part.#Ridge #GE2019

Get #GeneralElection2019 updates: https://t.co/26sueac4Fr pic.twitter.com/f5vzq7p5NF

— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) December 8, 2019

JS: ...There are double standards that apply, and I knew that when I took on the job... I think about my nieces growing up, I want the world that they inherit to be one that is less sexist, and one of the ways we can do that is having women in leadership roles.

John McDonnell - 'We're going to learn more lessons' on anti-Semitism

The Shadow Chancellor joined Andrew Marr, who asked him about Labour's efforts to tackle anti-Semitism within the party. McDonnell conceded that the debacle may be a major factor if Labour performs poorly in Thursday's election:

“We’ve done everything, I think, we can possibly do. We’ve apologised to the Jewish community”#Marr asks Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell about anti-Semitism in the Labour Partyhttps://t.co/X0aR3j9iz6 pic.twitter.com/9CVbcX2pqg

— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) December 8, 2019

AM: Do you accept that if you lose this election, this will be part of the reason?

JM: I worry that this has had its effect, and we’ve done everything, I think, we can possibly do. We’ve apologised to the Jewish community.

AM: Nothing more you can do?

JM: We've always got to learn lessons... I apologise to the Jewish community for the suffering we've inflicted on them. We're going to learn more lessons.

Borrowing for WASPI is 'the right thing to do'

McDonnell also told Marr that borrowing to cover the cost of the estimated £58 billion needed to compensate the WASPI women was fully justifiable as the women were entitled to the money:

“The bulk of this money will be borrowed but it’s the right thing to do”

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell talks to #Marr about compensating WASPI womenhttps://t.co/uxZeJK8IN0 pic.twitter.com/HguV4INVMr

— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) December 8, 2019

AM: Where's that money coming from?

JM: ...We will have to identify that funding, either from our headroom we will inherit, or... we'll borrow, and I don't shy away from that... The bulk of this money will be borrowed but it’s the right thing to do.

Nicola Sturgeon - Labour should respect timing for indyref2

Scotland's First Minister said that if it came to backing Labour in a hung parliament, the timing of a second independence referendum was a major red line that would have to be respected:

Nicola Sturgeon: “I’m not even asking Labour to support the idea that there should be another independence referendum”#Marr asks the SNP leader about their conditions for supporting a Labour government#indyref2 https://t.co/9tPMsXVnJB pic.twitter.com/mF8oXM94cF

— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) December 8, 2019

NS: I'm not asking Labour to support Scottish independence... I'm making the reasonable request that they respect a principle, which is that... the timing of a referendum should not be matters for Westminster.

'I apologise' for missing health targets

During her leader's interview with Andrew Neil, Sturgeon was quizzed extensively on the state of the Scottish health service. Marr pursued the same line of enquiry. Sturgeon defended the Scottish NHS, but apologised for missing key targets:

“I apologise to anybody who doesn’t get the treatment on the health service that we want them to get”#Marr asks Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about the SNP’s record on healthhttps://t.co/eco4YnVkLI pic.twitter.com/r5IFqiWolV

— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) December 8, 2019

NS: We have challenges in health... but Scotland's health service... is actually performing better than the health services elsewhere in the UK... I apologise to anybody who doesn’t get the treatment on the health service that we want them to get

Brandon Lewis - No Russian money funding the Tories

And finally, the Security Minister Brandon Lewis denied that the Conservative party was accepting Russian money as donations:

There is no Russian money funding the Conservative Party in this campaign says Security Minister Brandon Lewis#Marr https://t.co/XwrOyUyOW3 pic.twitter.com/fFxvFZ6M2f

— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) December 8, 2019

AM: Has there been Russian money funding the Conservative party in this campaign?

BL: No. The funding for the Conservative party comes from people who are declared through the Electoral Commission who are British citizens.