Watch: Diane Abbott fails to do her sums, again

Watch: Diane Abbott fails to do her sums, again
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Here we go again. During the General Election campaign, Diane Abbott came under fire when it became apparent in an LBC interview that she had no idea how her party would pay for its policy of 10,000 extra police officers – at one point saying it would cost £300,000, working out at £30 an officer.

So, surely the shadow home secretary has learnt her lesson? Apparently not. In an interview with ITV news on rising crime figures, Abbott came unstuck once again on the policy as she attempted to explain how Labour would pay for its plan for 10,000 extra officers:

'What we have is we would find the money to recruit the ten thousand police people by cutting the.... we would find the money because we would look at capital gains tax. The Tories have cut capital gains tax and we want to restore it. That would give us I think £170... sorry'

At which point Abbott turned to an aide for help. Happily, soon after the reporter stepped in – explaining that it was £300m she needed:

'We think that by restoring the cuts in capital gains tax that would give us another £300million a year.'

Happily, Abbott has since stepped in to explain that it is not her fault she doesn't know how Labour will pay for one of its flagship policies – instead, it's ITV's fault for asking the question.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to

Topics in this articlePoliticsdiane abbott