Is there something in the water today? First Nick Clegg lost his temper on Good Morning Britain, and now Diane Abbott has gone and outdone him with an awkward LBC interview on a policy she is supposed to be advocating. The shadow home secretary has been doing the rounds unveiling Labour’s plans for putting more bobbies on the beat. The problem: Abbott seems to have no idea how she’d pay for the 10,000 extra police officers. At first she said it would cost £300,000 – working out at £30 an officer. Her interview just got worse from there. Here it is:-
Nick Ferrari: ‘So how much would ten thousand police officers cost?
Diane Abbott: ‘Well, erm, if we recruit the ten thousand policemen and women over a four year period, we believe it would be about £300,000’
NF: ‘£300,000? What are you paying them?’
DA: ‘Sorry. No. sorry..’
NF: ‘How much will they cost?’
DA: ‘They will cost. It will cost, erm, about, about £80m pounds’
When she upped this to £80 million – ie, just £8,000 an officer – it got even worse. This is damaging, of course, because it underlines a more serious point: Jeremy Corbyn’s plans are not very well thought-through, and the idea of his team running the country is not one that fills voters with much confidence.
Update: It seems that Jeremy Corbyn isn’t all that bothered by his shadow home secretary’s shaky grasp of party policy. The Labour leader has told Sky News that he is not ’embarrassed in the slightest’.