Oh dear. Although Leave are currently speeding ahead of Remain in the polls, now is not the time for the Out campaign to rest on their laurels. Alas Priti Patel’s performance on the Today show this morning is unlikely to do them any favours.
The work and pensions minister was taken to task by Mishal Husain on the BBC programme over Vote Leave’s spending promises. When Husain put to Patel that the Out campaign were making spending promises they lacked the authority to see through, a defensive Patel responded by putting in a robotic performance. She repeatedly said ‘let me be clear’ without shining much light on whether money would go where Vote Leave has promised in the event of Brexit:
MH: Out of that £60 million a week, how much would you spend on the sorts of thing your campaign has talked about, which includes school places, new roads, VAT on fuel which you’ve been talking about, and John Redwood has talked about tax cuts.
PP: Well, let me be very clear about this, we have not said that we would spend money on those items that you have listed.
PP: We have said that we would spend British taxpayers’ money on a range of priorities including the NHS, an in particular as well VAT on fuel. So, let me be clear about this, these are the two areas that we have said we would spend that money on.
MH: Vote Leave have also promised to build roads. That’s something that’s in one of your campaign videos on YouTube. You’ve talked about primary school places, that the £461 million needed to fund the additional school places is just over a week’s worth of contributions to the EU.
PP: Of course those would be options and choices for the government of the day to make.
Given that Patel said ‘let’s be clear’ a total of nine times yet wasn’t really that clear at all on her campaign’s spending pledges, Mr S suspects that Vote Leave would be wise to field an alternative candidate for the next big interview.