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Coffee House

Listen: Ed Miliband’s two car crash interviews in one day

20 May 2014

4:01 PM

20 May 2014

4:01 PM

Ed Miliband seems to have clambered out of the wrong side of bed this morning. The Labour leader has been touring the TV and radio studios, where his answers have become progressively worse as the day went on.

First up, Miliband spoke to Good Morning Britain about the ‘cost-of-living crisis’. When asked whether he knew how much the average weekly household grocery bill was, he said ‘it depends on how much you are spending and how big your family is’. Then when questioned on how much the Miliband household spends, he said:

‘We probably spend £70-80 on groceries at least, probably more than that. Different families will have different costs they face but what I’m clear about is that there is a crisis facing so many people

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The presenter pointed out the average household bill is more like £100, putting it to Miliband he was ‘out of touch with reality’. Ed attempted to clarify his comments on BBC Radio Oxford later on:

‘Well, I said this morning it was on the basic groceries, the basic fruit and vegetables, about £70 or £80 – the total shopping bill was slightly higher than that, obviously. On the basics, I was saying it was about £70 or £80 but the overall shopping bill would obviously be higher.’

If he’s spending that much on fruit and veg alone, Miliband’s family are definitely eating more than their five a day — or purchasing plenty of white asparagus.  Leaving his grocery bills aside, Miliband then popped into BBC Wiltshire, where he was caught out on the question of who is Jim Grant. As the transcript shows, Miliband appeared not to know that Grant is the leader of the Labour group on Swindon Council, nor that it is a Tory-controlled council:

Radio Wiltshire Presenter: What do you make of Jim Grant?

Ed Miliband: I beg your pardon?

Presenter: Jim Grant, do you think he has done a good job?

Miliband: I think that lots of Labour representatives are doing a good job right across the country

Presenter: You do know who Jim Grant is, Mr Miliband?

Miliband: Well, you will enlighten me I am sure

Presenter: Swindon Labour leader

Miliband: Yeah I think he is doing a good job

Presenter: Will he feel like you support him enough if you don’t even know his name?

Miliband: Well he is doing a good job as leader of the council, Jim is, and I think that is the case.

Presenter: I mean it’s Swindon Labour leader. Do you think by your comments now people might be a bit perplexed by why you wouldn’t know who Jim Grant is?

Miliband: No, I know that Jim is doing a good job for Swindon and I think he is doing a good job as leader of the council.

Presenter: But he is not leader of the council is he Mr Miliband? It’s a Conservative led council.

Miliband: I think he is doing a good job for Labour on the council. I think he is doing a good job for Labour on the council.

Presenter: So let’s be clear. Who runs Swindon council?

Miliband: It’s a Conservative controlled council.


As we’ve seen with Nigel Farage’s LBC interview last week, all politicians have bad interviews which appear disastrous at the time. But Ed has endured three bad interviews in a row. The only blessing for him is that while he’s been digging his way deeper into a hole with every broadcast, Ukip have been mining an even bigger cavern down in Croydon with their carnival.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


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