BBC Question Time Sees Owen Jones Criticise Vote Leave Campaigners For 'Blaming' Immigrants Instead Of Government

'I am sick of scaremongering on both sides.'

03/06/2016 09:24

Blaming immigrants for the government's failure to build enough housing "lets politicians off the hook", Owen Jones told BBC Question Time on Thursday.

The 31-year-old political commentator said that he was "sick of scaremongering" from both sides in the EU debate and that the Tory government is building fewer houses that any government in peace time.

Jones said: "I would strongly reject the idea that the housing crisis in this country was caused by immigrants or the European Union and we let politicians off the hook when we blame foreigners for the failure of governments in this country to build the housing that we desperately need."

As Neil Hamilton interjects, saying "it's not blame", Jones retorts: "It is to blame," to which the crowd erupted in applause.

The journalist said that he was a "floating voter" at the beginning of the referendum, adding: "But I am sick of scaremongering on both sides and I think we should have a reasoned debate, whether it be threats of World War Three on the one hand or Adolf Hitler and the Nazis on the other."

Addressing the issue of housing, Jones said that the Tory government's house building record is the "lowest now in peace time in England and Wales".

"We are not building the housing that this country desperately needs," Jones said.

"We have got to stop a situation where we blame people, whether they be from abroad or Brussels because all Neil Hamilton wants us to do, posing as he does and Ukip as anti-establishment, is let politicians off the hook in this country."

Some people agreed with Jones' point about deflecting blame. 

While others said that more people "make the situation worse".

And some felt that both immigration and the government are to blame.

The debate about whether or not to leave the EU is heating up, with further accusations of scaremongering.

On Thursday a student criticised David Cameron, accusing him of “waffling” during a live debate.

Soraya Bouazzaoui, an English Literature student at Southampton Solent University, said she had been put off by the “scaremongering” during his pro-EU campaign.

She was one of the audience members to give the PM a rough ride, with others also using the “scaremongering” jibe.

“I’ve strongly been wanting to vote to stay in the EU but to be honest the entire campaign has been a complete shambles for it,"Bouazzaoui said.  

"I’ve seen nothing but scaremongering, I’ve seen no valid fact at all, I’ve seen no pros and cons,” she said before Cameron attempted to make the “positive” case for staying in the EU.

But the hammerblow in the event ahead of the June 23 referendum came when he began to answer her fears over Turkey joining the EU in the future.

Cutting across him, she shouted: “That’s not answering my question. Let me finish now. I’ve seen you interrupt many people before hand. Let me finish. That is not answering the question. I’m an English literature student, I know waffling when I see it. I’m sorry.”

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