As Channel 4 News goes on titillating ‘fishing trip’, Sarah Teather calls them out

I wasn’t too impressed by the timing of Sarah Teather’s announcement — on the eve of the party’s conference — that she wouldn’t be standing as a Lib Dem at the next election. But I was impressed by her performance on Channel 4 News last night.

Invited on to talk about immigration in her first television interview since that news broke, Matt Frei decided instead to search for cheap and easy headlines — does she think Nick Clegg’s a sell-out, is she in touch with Lord Rennard? etc — to her evident frustration.

She deals with it well, though as she’s commented today: “I agreed to do Channel 4 last night hoping for a thoughtful space to articulate some of my views on immigration and public discourse. Sadly Channel 4 were doing the Westminster thing and trying to make everything personal and titillating. But that is Westminster I guess. One of the challenges of trying to make arguments from inside the party political space! But I got to make some points anyway.”

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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  • Martin Gentles 11th Oct '13 - 12:03pm

    Very good performance by Sarah. I was pretty mad at her vote against SSM, but this video reminds you of what an asset she has been. I now realise what a loss she will be for us.

  • nuclear cockroach 11th Oct '13 - 12:08pm

    Fabulous. You couldn’t ask for a better demonstration of how to deal with a journaloid who invites a politician for an interview under false pretenses. It’s a shame Sarah Teather is leaving.

  • How dare journalists ask politicians questions on topics that haven’t given permission to be asked about! Journalists should be compliant to the politicians and stick to the script!

  • Geoffrey Payne 11th Oct '13 - 12:40pm

    I saw that interview as well and I was appalled. Maybe if it had been one question that would have been OK, but Matt Frei kept asking the same kind of question and it took up most of the interview. It is not often we get to hear the pro immigration case these days and Matt Frei clearly wasn’t interested.

  • Peter Watson 11th Oct '13 - 4:15pm

    @James Murray “For my money,supposedly professional BBC interviewers are dreadful at allowing Labour politicians off the hook.”
    To be fair, I think that is better summed up as ‘BBC interviewers are dreadful at allowing Opposition politicians off the hook’, which is pretty inevitable really. Lib Dems have been on that side of the fence for years, but now are having to face more of a grilling as what they say today is government action tomorrow (in theory, anyway).

  • Isn’t this a bit naïve?

    She is standing down in 2015 in fairly interesting circumstances so why does she think that the journalists would not explores other subjects.

    Politican’s are well-schooled in avoiding questions and the number of anodyne interviews we see suggests that all the power is not on the side of the journalists.

  • There seemed to be two very important and newsworthy issues on last night’s interview with Sarah Teather.
    These were immigrants experience and views of the tightening controls on immigration and Sarah’s disillusion with the current parliamentary process and how that was affecting the response to the immigration issue.
    I wish we had been allowed to listen to the interviewee.

  • Absolutely brilliant stuff from Sarah. I only wish we could convince her to come back. She’s a real asset and will be much missed.

  • Julian Tisi

    Stop your leadership behaving like rabid Tories may be a start?

    Cable supporting the undervaluation of RM to give some lucky people a free few hundred quid

    Alexander supporting the underwriting of mortgages by the Government at a time when interest rates are 0.5% and must have to go up sometime

    Clegg for towing the security service line on GCHQ amongst many other things

    Just to name three recent stories…….

  • David Evans 13th Oct '13 - 9:07am

    Are these smaller examples of Labour behaving like rabid Tories by 1) Privatising the running of masses hospitals through PFI; 2) Allowing a massive housing bubble to build up for 13 years by cosying up to bankers, 3) Having Jack Straw and David Blunkett as Home Secretary?

  • It seems to me that the only difference in Labour and the Tories is whose pals get government contracts when they are in power.

  • David Evans

    Have only ever voted once for Labour in my life, so what they did up until 2010 is of not much interest to me. I did vote LD though because I didn’t think they were as right-wing as the other parties

    I was wrong, and if you see I mention the leadership not the party as a whole.

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