GMB: Rishi Sunak clashes with Alastair Campbell
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The Chancellor of the Exchequer was grilled by Good Morning Britain hosts Susanna Reid and Alastair Campbell as he appeared on the ITV morning show to discuss various topics. When speaking about the success of his employment plan, which the MP outlined a year ago, Campbell questioned it and accused Sunak of presenting it in a better light than it should be, but the 41-year-old hit back to argue it had been an “enormous success”.
“The Green Homes Grant has not worked as effectively as it should have done and I think you’ve admitted that,” Campbell began.
“You’ve admitted that about the kickstart scheme as well, and your stamp duty holiday really has had a detrimental effect, particularly for first-time home buyers.
“So I don’t think you can say that your plan for jobs, which now a year ago today, has been the great success that you’re presenting it as.”
Sunak tried to shut down the argument, responding: “Well, I completely and utterly disagree with you.”
He continued: “I think it has been a success. A year ago today when we outlined it, the expectations and fears of where that unemployment would peak in this country at 12 percent.
“That’s something like four million people unemployed – numbers we haven’t seen for decades.
“If you look now at what people are saying, they expect unemployment to peak at half that level.
“That means two million fewer people have lost their jobs than was previously feared so I would say that is an enormous success.”
Viewers watching the interview were quick to comment on the MP’s claims.
“But you’re still not answering questions #GMB,” one said.
A second wrote: “Tell Suzanna and sidekick to stop talking over people, you ask a question let him answer.”
“@RishiSunak 1 @GMB 0,” a third posted, alluding to Sunak’s argument to Campbell.
Another commented: “Well done Rishi for not allowing GMB to bully him or speak over him when they’ve asked a question.”
Someone else penned: “@GMB #AlistairCampbell #GMB Alistair just got schooled.”
Speaking later about peoples’ concerns over the easing of lockdown restrictions on July 19, which Reid noted had been deemed “way too early.”
She asked: “With numbers looking like they’re going to reach 100,000 a day, what on earth are we doing?”
Sunak said: “We obviously look at all the data when we make these decisions.
“You can’t be completely definitive about these things because we’re still going through it and as you get more and more data your confidence in how much the link [between COVID-19 cases and hospitalisation] has been completely broken increases.
“What is very clear is it has been significantly weakened, severed, whatever word you want to use -“
“Well, sorry but they mean two different things,” Reid cut in and Campbell added: “They are different things.
Sunak replied: “As I said, I think we know it has been significantly weakened, broken whatever you want to say.
“We are going through this and as we are going through, everyone collects more data and we’re learning more.”
He added: “But I think the approach we’re taking is an appropriately balanced one and peoples’ sacrifices over the last 12 or 13 months have been enormous.
“We’ve made great progress with the vaccination drive and we should approach this next step with confidence.
“But it’s also important to remember that we’re all going to be asked to exercise more personal responsibility and judgement about situations and I think that is a good thing and I know that we will absolutely all do that.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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