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Lisa Nandy survives the Andrew Neil treatment

15 January 2020

8:12 PM

15 January 2020

8:12 PM

One of the moments that sunk Jeremy Corbyn in the election campaign was his interview with Andrew Neil. So, there is a particular interest in Andrew Neil’s interviews with the Labour leadership contenders.

Lisa Nandy was this evening’s guest. At the beginning, she was visibly nervous as he questioned her on foreign affairs. Nandy went big on humility, saying that ‘no one person is good enough to be Prime Minister’. But as the interview went on, she became more confident. She was bold enough to say that the Tory plan to move party headquarters out of London and into the Midlands or the North will go down well with Red Wall voters. She reiterated her very valid criticism of Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of the Salisbury attack.

But there were holes in Nandy’s arguments. She had no meaningful answer to what approach to a UK/EU trade deal would unite both sides of the Labour coalition. She seemed to have a rather Panglossian view of voters in Labour leave voting seats attitude to free movement. She is all for devolving power to local communities but wouldn’t allow them to set up more selective schools if that was what they wanted.

Overall, though, Nandy will have helped her cause tonight. She was brave enough to do the interview and did a better job than Jeremy Corbyn. We wait to see if the frontrunners Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey are confident enough to subject themselves to the same treatment.


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