Jeremy Corbyn’s interview on The Andrew Marr Show yesterday saw the Labour leader wax lyrical on the virtues of Trident submarines without warheads, discuss the prospect of peace talks with ISIS, and ponder a deal with Argentina over the Falklands. While he also discussed housing and the junior doctor strike, his more divisive comments have today been followed up in the papers, with The Sun running an ‘Off His War Head’ splash.
Although Labour brains seem unhappy with the way the interview went, little blame is being placed with their dear leader. Instead, party members appear to be blaming their enemy of the month — the BBC. John Prescott has taken to Twitter to describe the interview as a ‘disgrace’. The former Deputy Prime Minister says Marr should be ashamed for making Corbyn answer questions on topics like the Falklands:
‘I thought Andrew Marr’s interview this morning with Jeremy Corbyn was a disgrace.Here’s someone who is leading the debate by putting housing, social justice and equality right at the heart of our politics. And how did Marr respond? By asking questions to get answers he hopes will be in tomorrow’s Daily Mail. Why did he ask about Flying Pickets and the Falkland Islands? Are these really the big issues of today? Forget Deutschland ’83 – today’s Corbyn interview was more Marr ’82.’
Prescott says Marr — and presenters everywhere — need to focus on what ‘Labour’s policies are for today’:
‘Jeremy has started a debate about what kind of country we want to live in and what our priorities should be. All journalists should recognise the public wants to here what Labour’s policies are for today. Not hypothetical positions on the issues of yesterday.’
While one could argue his views on Trident are of interest given the party’s plan for a defence review, this is not the first time the BBC have found themselves in the firing line over their pursuit for ‘news’. The Labour party complained earlier this month about Laura Kuenssberg’s reshuffle scoop. Jeremy Corbyn’s Director of Comms Seumas Milne wrote a letter to the Beeb complaining that they had overstepped the mark by arranging for Stephen Doughty to announce his resignation on the Daily Politics.
Still, members of the Beeb can at least take heart that not all of the party are against them. Writing in the Sun on Sunday over the weekend, Labour’s Gloria de Piero said it’s ‘great’ that the BBC now has the ‘fantastic’ Laura Kuenssberg is political editor. What ever will Seumas say?