Sunday shows

Sunday shows round-up: Starmer dodges questions on public sector pay

‘This is the government’s mess, and it’s for them to sort it out’ In an interview with Laura Kuenssberg this morning, Keir Starmer was keen to emphasise Labour’s commitment to change and reform. When Kuenssberg pressed him on a few specific issues however, he deflected the questions, saying they were the current government’s problem. He was also reluctant to go into any detail on Labour’s spending plans. Instead, Starmer insisted on fiscal responsibility, the necessity of growing the economy, and changes to the planning system. ‘The target date for clean electricity has not changed’ Kuenssberg also asked Starmer why Labour had decided to delay its pledge to borrow £28 billion

Sunday shows round-up: Barclay outlines the NHS workforce plan

‘The biggest workforce expansion in NHS history.’ At a time when the NHS is under extreme pressure, with staff shortages and strikes causing widespread disruption, Health Secretary Steve Barclay outlined the government’s £2.4 billion plan to employ more than 300,000 new doctors and nurses over the next few years. He clarified to the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg that this would be additional money from the Treasury – although he was vague when asked to explain how it would be funded. What progress has been made on Sunak’s five pledges? Sophy Ridge attacked the government’s record on its five main pledges, asking Barclay what would happen if the five targets set out by

Sunday shows round-up: Truss thwarted by ‘powerful economic establishment’

Liz Truss – Thwarted by a ‘powerful economic establishment, and a lack of political support’ After Liz Truss claimed in a Telegraph essay that the ‘economic establishment’, and flaws in the Conservative Party’s preparations, had prevented her from enacting her policies, Laura Kuenssberg pressed Business Secretary Grant Shapps on whether he agreed with any of Truss’ claims: Liz Kendall – Liz Truss is back with ‘no apology and no humility’ Former Conservative party chair Jake Berry told Kuenssberg that he still agreed in principle with Liz Truss’ policies, even if they weren’t delivered in the correct way. But Liz Kendall went on the attack, saying the Conversatives ‘drove the economy

Sunday shows round-up: Tory MPs are ‘sick of defending the indefensible’, Starmer says

Sir Keir Starmer was back on the BBC this morning, to be interviewed once again by Sophie Raworth. The Labour party is calling for an ‘emergency budget’ in order to help ease pressure on the cost of living. However, Raworth pulled Starmer up on why, when presented with opportunities to challenge the government on rising prices, he was still relying on the partygate scandal to hammer away at the Prime Minister’s authority: …‘I don’t accept’ I broke the law in Durham… During Keir Starmer’s last appearance with Raworth, she brought up a photo of him drinking beer in an MP’s constituency office during the 2021 Hartlepool by-election campaign. She asked

Sunday shows round-up: Starmer calls Boris ‘corrupt and contemptible’ over Paterson

Keir Starmer: PM’s actions over Paterson ‘corrupt and contemptible’ If the government could write its own headlines, the last week would doubtless have been awash with the litany of pledges being churned out at Cop26. Instead, Boris Johnson has managed to earn the ire of not just the opposition, but also his own side of the House of Commons, after putting forward some hastily-retracted plans to reform Parliament’s disciplinary process. To cap it all, Owen Paterson, the MP whose career the proposals were transparently designed to save, has announced that he will be leaving the House after all. The leader of the opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, condemned a ‘pattern of

Sunday shows round-up: herd immunity was ‘not at all’ government policy

Priti Patel: The BBC’s reputation ‘has been compromised’ Today’s political shows were dominated by the fallout from the Dyson inquiry into the BBC and its relationship with the journalist Martin Bashir. The findings of Lord Dyson’s report have already seen Tony Hall, the BBC’s former director-general, resign his post as chair of the National Gallery. The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, spoke to Trevor Philips – who will be replacing Sophy Ridge while she is on maternity leave – about the issue: PP: The BBC itself – one of our great institutions – its reputation has been compromised… and they themselves will have to reflect upon the report, and spend a

Sunday shows round-up: Chancellor says rebalancing the books won’t ‘happen overnight’

Rishi Sunak – Government will do ‘whatever it takes’ to protect people and businesses Ahead of the Budget this Wednesday, both Andrew Marr and Sophy Ridge were joined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. With the government’s roadmap for ending the lockdown having been published last week, all eyes are now on Sunak and the economic levers that he will be pulling as the pandemic hopefully begins its journey out of the news and into history. Sophy Ridge asked the Chancellor if the government’s furlough scheme would be extended beyond the current deadline of April. Without going as far as to say ‘yes’, Sunak suggested that an extension

Sunday shows roundup: No. 10 won’t set an ‘arbitrary target’ for lifting lockdown

With the vaccine rollout exceeding expectations, the government now faces pressure from its own side of the House to lift the current lockdown as fast as possible. The Covid Recovery Group, chaired by the former chief whip Mark Harper, has sent a letter to the PM which has been endorsed by 63 MPs calling for all restrictions to be lifted after the nine designated vulnerable groups have received their vaccines – which is forecast for the end of April. Appearing on Sophy Ridge on Sunday, foreign secretary Dominic Raab set out the government’s position: DR: I don’t think you can set an arbitrary target, and not be evidence led… which is

Sunday shows round-up: Sturgeon insists she ‘did not mislead’ Scottish parliament

Nicola Sturgeon – ‘False conspiracy theories’ being spread in Salmond assault inquiry Continuing his series of interviews with the UK’s major party leaders, Andrew Marr this morning spoke to Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland. A major feature of the interview was the continuing row between Sturgeon and her predecessor and former mentor Alex Salmond. Salmond was famously put on trial for multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment in early 2020, and was acquitted of all charges. A Holyrood inquiry is being conducted into the handling of the complaints made against Salmond, who has accused Sturgeon of misleading the Scottish Parliament over what was known when and by

Sunday shows round-up: Brexit talks ‘in last week or so’, says Raab

Dominic Raab – ‘We want to come out’ and ‘stay out’ of lockdown This week, the government will put its tiered system of coronavirus restrictions to a vote in the Commons. A sizeable rebellion is anticipated from the government’s own MPs, who have raised concerns about the effect on the economy, as well as personal liberty and mental health. The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab sought to ease some of their fears: DR: We want to come out of national lockdown and stay out of it. There is hope… We are starting with a more restrictive approach than previously… but that allows us to ease up when we are confident that

Sunday shows round-up: Rishi anticipates ‘more economic stress’

Rishi Sunak – There is more economic stress to come The Chancellor of the Exchequer will deliver the 2020 spending review this Wednesday, and it will shock no one to hear that the public finances are not in good health. Joining Andrew Marr in the studio, Rishi Sunak said that the economy was not out of the woods yet, and may not be for a long time: RS: The economy is experiencing significant stress. We’ve seen that particularly in the labour market… [There is] more stress to come, and that is very sad to see… and it’s something that we’re going to grapple with for a while to come sadly.

Sunday shows round-up: Raab ‘excited’ to work with Biden

Dominic Raab – ‘I’m excited’ about working with President Biden On the morning after Joe Biden was declared President-elect, the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab offered his congratulations to Mr Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris. Raab told Sophy Ridge that the Biden administration would find plenty of common ground with Boris Johnson’s government: DR: The things that President-elect Biden wants to achieve internationally… not just security and counter-terrorism in the Middle East, but coronavirus and returning to the Paris Climate Agreement – these are all things which… we’ll have a huge amount to co-operate on and I’m excited about working with the new administration. We’ve got ‘full faith’ in

Sunday shows round-up: Brandon Lewis defends refusal to extend free school meals

Brandon Lewis – Our position on free school meals ‘is the right one’ Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign to extend the provision of free school meals over the school holidays has seen the government facing considerable criticism, with Labour forcing a vote on the issue in the House of Commons last Wednesday, which was defeated by 61 votes. A rift has even developed within the Conservative party itself, with Robert Halfon, chair of the Education Select Committee, writing in the Spectator on the conservative case for the extension. Sophy Ridge asked the Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis why the government was holding out against the campaign: BL: I think

Sunday shows round-up: Justice Secretary would resign if UK breaks law in ‘unacceptable’ way

Robert Buckland – ‘I will resign’ if government breaks law in ‘unacceptable’ way The Justice Secretary Robert Buckland was put on the spot this morning over the government’s proposed Internal Market Bill, which is due to be introduced to the House of Commons tomorrow. The bill intends to override aspects of the Northern Ireland Protocol – a part of the official Withdrawal Agreement – to give ministers the right to modify rules on customs, if there is no final trade deal agreed by December. Andrew Marr quizzed Buckland about whether using these powers would breach international law: AM: Is that the moment that [you] resign from the government – if

Sunday shows round-up: This week is ‘moment of reckoning’ for EU trade deal

Dominic Raab – This week is ‘the moment of reckoning’ for EU deal The Sunday interview shows return this week to general fanfare across the nation… The first government guest to join Sophy Ridge was the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who was asked about the prospect of the UK reaching a satisfactory trade deal with the EU by the end of the year. James Forsyth has written this week about how Downing Street puts the likelihood of a deal down to 30 to 40 per cent, but Raab professed a greater optimism that an agreement could be reached, citing the thorny subject of fisheries as one of the few remaining

Sunday shows round-up: Transport Secretary’s Spanish self-isolation shows ‘risk for everyone’

Dominic Raab – ‘Swift decisive action’ needed on new quarantine rules The government updated its rules on foreign travel yesterday so that anybody returning to the UK from Spain has to self-isolate for 14 days. The new guidance reflects the discovery of 971 new coronavirus cases in Spain in one day, prompting fears of a second wave in the country. Sophy Ridge interviewed the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and asked him to justify the rapid imposition of the new quarantine guidance: SR: Why was the decision taken with so little notice? DR: …We took the decision as swiftly as we could. We can’t make apologies for doing so. We must

Sunday shows round-up: Chinese Ambassador denies Xinjiang concentration camps

Liu Xiaoming – No Muslim concentration camps in Xinjiang Today’s Sunday interviews took a heavier focus on foreign affairs than usual, with Andrew Marr counting not one, but two ambassadors among his guests. He began by speaking to Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese ambassador, and confronted him with aerial footage appearing to show restrained Uighur Muslims preparing to be transported to ‘re-education’ camps, alongside testimony that Uighur women were being forced to undergo sterilisation procedures. Liu denied that such human rights abuses were Chinese government policy and tried to brand the claims as fake: LX: The government policy is strongly opposed to this kind of practice, but I cannot rule out

Sunday shows round-up: Wearing face masks to shop is ‘good manners’, says Gove

Michael Gove – We want to see more people back on the shop floor It was Michael Gove’s turn to lead the government’s broadcast rounds this morning. Sophy Ridge began by seeking clarification from the Cabinet Office Minister about the government’s message on returning to the workplace: MG: We want to see more people back at work, on the shop floor, in the office, wherever they can be. Of course, in some cases it’s appropriate and convenient for some people to work from home, but we want to make sure that… the economic engines of this country are fired up again. Wearing face masks while shopping is ‘good manners’ Andrew

Sunday shows round-up: ‘I’m pleased with’ Super-Saturday, says Health Secretary

Matt Hancock – ‘I’m pleased with what happened yesterday’ The Health Secretary was Sophy Ridge’s first guest this morning. Pubs and restaurants were allowed to reopen yesterday, prompting concerns from some quarters that the public would overindulge themselves. Ridge asked Hancock how he felt so-called ‘Super Saturday’ had gone: MH: From what I’ve seen… very, very largely, people have acted responsibly… Overall I’m pleased with what happened yesterday. We were ‘right to take firmer action’ on Leicester outbreak The city of Leicester has seen itself subjected to a lockdown extension after its rate of infection was found to have increased well above other areas of England (with cases reportedly reaching

Sunday shows round-up: Violence against police to be met with ‘full force of the law’, says Priti Patel

Priti Patel – Violence against police will be met with ‘full force of the law’ Sophy Ridge interviewed the Home Secretary Priti Patel, asking her about the difficulties involved in policing Britain under lockdown. Recent weeks have not only seen mass protests on the streets, but also scenes like an illegal street party in Brixton where police officers were attacked. The Metropolitan Police’s chief commissioner Cressida Dick has said that around 140 officers have been hurt over the past three weeks. Patel told Ridge that the government was tightening measures to protect key workers: PP: I’m committed, and we’ll be putting measures in place to double the sentencing on assaults