POLITICS

Sunday Show Round-Up: Labour's Nuclear Confusion and Tim Farron's Silence On Gay Sex

The first Sunday shows since the election was called were very busy

23/04/2017 16:00 | Updated 23 April 2017

The Andrew Marr Show

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall was up on the first Marr since the election was called.

With Ukip needing some new policies now Brexit is on its way, Nuttall set out why he would ban Muslim women from wearing the full-face veil in public.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood appeared down the line from Wales and got off to a slightly awkward start by wishing Scotsman Andrew Marr a happy St George’s Day.

Wood refused to say if she would stand in the election, as under her party rules she would have to step down as leader if elected to Westminster.

She said Labour were in “no fit state to provide opposition” to the Tories, and said Plaid Cymru had been calling for St David’s Day to be made a national holiday for years.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was given a good 20 minute grilling by Marr, and went over domestic and foreign policies with the interviewer. A full write up of the foreign affairs section is here, and includes discussions on Syria, Trident and Isis.

On the domestic front, Corbyn explained why he wanted the UK to have four extra bank holidays a year. He said the economic cost was neutral, and the UK has fewer public holidays than most European and industrial countries.

On Brexit, Corbyn was clear that securing tariff free access to the Single Market was more important than ending free movement of peoples.

Marr: “In the past you have said in the past you are not wedded to free movement and you’re not against it either. There’s no longer two years to go, there’s a few weeks to go, so which side is it?”

Corbyn: “The first point is to make sure we get an economy that works for all. That means, I think, getting tariff free access to the European market as a very high priority. And you then you work out an immigration policy that follows from that.”

Marr: “So you wouldn’t start form the point of view – I’m going to stop immigration?”

Corbyn: “I would start form the point of view I want to defend and maintain jobs in Britain - I want us to be expanding manufacturing economy. I want our own public national investment bank to invest in new industries and infrastructure so that we do have this trading relationship with Europe which is absolutely crucial. Half our trade is with Europe at the moment.”

Marr: “A very straightforward yes or no question - in these negotiations, if you are there leading them as Prime Minister, do you insist on ending free movement – yes or no?

Corbyn: “What I would insist on is trade access and see what follows from that. That has got to be the key point.”

Here’s the full interview:

Peston on Sunday

Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green was on Peston on Sunday, and was quizzed over Tory plans to cap energy bills – a policy reminiscent of Labour’s 2015 General Election pledge. He seemed to confirm it would be in the manifesto. 

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron was repeatedly pressed on his views of homosexuality, and specifically if he believed gay sex is a sin. There’s a full write up here – but here is the clip of him refusing to answer the question.

One area he was clear on was his party’s position on Brexit: there should be a second referendum after the deal has been done which can overturn the decision of the previous vote.

Farron also ruled out any kind of coalition with the Tories or Labour after the election – even a loose confidence-and-supply arrangement.

Over in Croissant Corner, former Labour leadership contender Liz Kendall couldn’t quite bring herself to say she wanted Jeremy Corbyn to be Prime Minister.

Ex-Cabinet Minister Michael Gove suggested the Tories shouldn’t make any promises about not raising taxes in their manifesto. 

Ridge on Sunday

Ex-Lib Dem Business Secretary Sir Vince Cable was on the Sky show as he prepares to try to win back his seat in Parliament just over two years after losing it.

He rowed back from comments he made last Autumn that a second EU referendum would be “seriously disrespectful.”

Sir Vince, who was widely credited with predicting the 2008 financial crash, told Ridge he could see weaknesses in the UK economy.

Since leaving politics, Sir Vince has been writing, lecturing, going to dance classes and weight training.

Labour’s Shadow International Development Secretary Barry Gardiner admitted the party has “a lot of ground to cover” ahead of the election, but when the public see the policies on offer they will back Corbyn.

He accused the Government of taking its eye off the ball when it comes to Brexit because it is focused on the election. 

Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green said it was a “guarantee” that taxes would be lower under the Tories than a Jeremy Corbyn Government.

Defence is clearly seen as one of Corbyn’s weaknesses, and Green said the Labour leader would “dismantle Britain’s nuclear defences and fail to deal effectively with terrorism.” 

Pienaar’s Politics

Conservative Party Chairman Patrick McLoughlin attacked Labour’s plan for four extra bank holidays.

“It’s just crazy because those will cost money and what we’ll see with the Labour party is policies that will cost this country extremely dearly.”

He also hit out at Corbyn’s security credentials:

“He’s already said that he would not use the nuclear weapons that we have in this country, should that need ever come to be. Nobody wants those decisions to be taken, but to have a leader that knows the responsibility of leadership, I think is very important. And I don’t think anybody challenges that Theresa May has provided strong leadership.”

Labour’s Lucy Powell gave some support to her leader, saying Corbyn would do a much better job of being Prime Minister than Theresa May.

She claimed it would have been impossible to vote against holding an election, but:

“It is an unnecessary election, she’s called it simply because she wants to have a bigger majority to be able to deliver her policies without any scrutiny at all.”

Former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said the political elite in Westminster and the Tory Party were obsessed with Brexit, and it was the “prism” through which everything else was viewed.

“We have a government, an elite in Westminster in the Conservative party, who are so obsessed with Brexit, an indeed by hard Brexit, that they are not doing their day job of actually helping out with the provision of decent public services.”

Sunday Politics

Tory Chairman Patrick McLoughlin was quizzed over the electoral fraud investigation relating to the 2015 election.

He said all parties had battle buses and believes the Tories “fully complied” with the electoral law “as it was”. 

Brexiteer Arron Banks, who has handed over more than a million pound to Ukip since 2014, confirmed he would stand in the General Election in Clacton if selected by the anti-EU party.

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