Watch: Hunt accuses Johnson of ‘peddling optimisim’

Watch: Hunt accuses Johnson of ‘peddling optimisim’
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Tonight, ITV hosted the first head-to-head debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt as they vie to become the next Prime Minister, and leader of the Conservative Party.

And while Jeremy Hunt may initially have entered the race as the candidate least likely to engage in blue-on-blue warfare, it didn't take long for the two candidates to begin tearing into each other on live TV.

In one exchange, the pair clashed over no deal and whether Britain would actually leave the EU on 31 October. Remarkably, Hunt accused Johnson of 'peddling optimism' with his plan to take Brexit out by Halloween, saying that:

'Being prime minister is about telling people what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear. And the difference between you and me, is that you are peddling optimism...'

In response, Johnson cut in to say:

'I think this country needs a bit of optimism, frankly.... We've had a bellyful of defeatism.'

Watch here:

Mr S isn't sure Hunt's pessimism is the most inspiring way to win over new voters...

Written bySteerpike

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

Topics in this articlePolitics