POLITICS

Jeremy Corbyn Explodes At ITV Reporter Over Quitting As Labour Leader Question

'You’re obsessed with this question, absolutely obsessed with it'.

04/04/2017 19:01 | Updated 04 April 2017

Jeremy Corbyn has exploded at an ITV reporter for being “absolutely obsessed” with questions over his future as Labour leader.

The MP hit back at reporter Paul Brand after being probed on whether he would stand down after Labour’s poll rating plunged to 25% - its joint lowest rating by the ICM polling company since 1983.

Corbyn was launching the party’s local council election campaign, and accused the media of “failing” to report “underfunded” social care, housing and education. Corbyn described the Tories as “running Britain down”.

But when asked about his leadership, Corbyn fired back:

“You’re obsessed with this question, absolutely obsessed with it.

“We have a strong opposition in this country if you bothered to report what we were doing.

“If you bothered to report what Jon Ashworth is doing on the health service, if you bothered to report what Angela Rayner is doing and saying on schools, if you bothered to report what the Labour Party is actually saying.

“It’s your responsibility to make sure the opposition voice is heard as well as the government’s voice. It’s your failings.” 

ITV News
Jeremy Corbyn reacts to reporter Paul Brand's question.

Brand then responded: 

“I can tell you’re frustrated with the number of times you’re asked about your leadership but that gets to the heart of the question, which is, aren’t you fed up with this?

 To which Corbyn replied: 

“The heart of the question is, you haven’t got a question, other than that. Let me tell you what this election is about….”

After the clip became a viral hit, Corbyn later doubled down and tweeted the video himself - but arguing the media must “stop treating politics like a game”. His fierce rebuttal had already spawned the #JezzaBitesBack hashtag.  

It’s not the first time he’s snapped at reporters during his tumultuous 18 months at the helm of the Labour Party. 

Here’s five other flashpoints with journalists:

  • 1 "I've given you a very, very clear answer."
    Sky News
    Following Labour's humiliating defeat in the Copeland by-election, Corbyn's leadership is under pressure.

    After answering two Sky News questions about whether he will remain leader at the 2020 election, a third more direct question was too much.

    "I've given you a very, very clear answer," he snarled.
  • 2 "We're being harassed here."
    ITV News
    Last year, Corbyn accused ITV News reporter Libby Wiener of “harassment” after she attempted to ask him if he supported calls for an early general election after a High Court ruling that MPs must be consulted on Brexit. 

    As an aide tried to block the camera, Corbyn asked his team: “Can we go outside? We’re being harassed here.”
  • 3 *Silence*
    Sky News
    Corbyn refused to answer questions from Sky News reporter  Darren McCaffrey for around two minutes as he was trailled down the streeet in Westminster.  

    He was being asked why there were so few women in his new-look Shadow Cabinet, but it almost feels like arthouse cinema.
  • 4 "Can we move on, we're discussing the NHS today."
    Sky News
    Corbyn reacts tetchily to questions about his spat with Virgin Trains boss Sir Richard Branson after a row about whether the Labour leader was forced to sit down on a train or not.

    Corbyn wanted to discuss the NHS instead: "Can we move on, we're discussing the NHS today."
  • 5 "Put it away please."
    LBC
    Corbyn was pressed for comments on then Prime Minister David Cameron's tax affairs by LBC Radio’s Charlotte Wright.

    The Labour leader, who had called for an investigation into the affair, was not willing to go further.

    “Good morning everybody. Thank you for coming here. I don’t do interviews of any circumstances,” he said.

    As Wright tried to ask him a follow up, an irritated Corbyn placed his hand over her microphone and told her to “put it away please”.
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