Jo’s best bits from the Channel 4 Debate

Channel 4 held an “everything but Brexit” debate last night.

Jo represented us. Labour sent Angela Rayner, the SNP Philippa Whitford and both of them basically decided to gang up on Jo over the coalition rather than defend their own policies. Moderator Cathy Newman seemed to join in the pile-on at times.

The Conservatives and Brexit Party couldn’t even be bothered to turn up. It was quite bizarre when she read out bits of the Conservative and Brexit manifestos when they were not represented and able to be properly scrutinised.

Here are some of Jo’s best bits.


In a section on trust in politics, Jo was asked what was the last lie she’d told. She’ll never be able to tell her 5 year old son Andrew that there are no chocolate biscuits left ever again. He must have a very sweet tooth as during the leadership campaign she talked about how he keeps asking for ice cream for breakfast.

Jo held her own under sustained attack but it was a pretty unedifying affair.

After the debate, Ed Davey said:

Tonight, the Conservatives and the Brexit Party once again failed to show up to a key debate refusing to be held accountable for their terrible plans for our country.

“Jo Swinson shone through on education, mental health and climate change, showing that the best way to build a brighter future is to vote Liberal Democrat.

“From their hostile Nurse Tax to their shambolic lack of action on the climate emergency, the Tories are failing our country.

“There are just four days left until the most important election in a generation and the choice is clearer than ever. Only the Liberal Democrats can stop Boris Johnson from writing a blank cheque to do as he pleases.”

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Kevin Mahoney 9th Dec '19 - 8:28pm

    Boris was probably too busy mugging journalists to attend this event. In the 80s, we had ‘Maggie Thatcher, Milk Snatcher’, now we have ‘Boris Johnson, phone snatcher’. Bet David Cameron regrets hugging this particular hoodie.

    There are more details about Phonegate on the BBC:

  • marcstevens 9th Dec '19 - 10:20pm

    Angela Rayner was also on the BBC 1 under 30s QT. I never thought I would say it but I am beginning to prefer Nigel Farage to many of these labour politicians who constantly interrupt the others and talk over them. Angela Rayner then spent more her time attacking Jo Swinson on austerity again a pity she isn’t being picked up on the PPI although thankfully one of them pointed out Labour introduced tuition fees. Jo Swinson gave an assured performance over all but that went beyond most of the audience.

  • David Evershed 10th Dec '19 - 1:21am

    Channel Four seems unable to take a neutral position in political debate or political news.

    Maybe the Lib Dems should join the Conservative and Brexit Parties and boycott Channel Four?

  • @ Frank Little & David Evershed.

    Lib Dems really should stop being so thin skinned and whingeing about the media. It doesn’t play well, and the mark of a mature politician is the ability to deal with it. If you want to play in the big league you’ve got to cope with the stick. It goes with the territory.

  • Tony Greaves 10th Dec '19 - 10:09pm

    Ms Newman is a disgrace. The rest of the C4 political/news team are okay or better.

  • I don’t think these debates have had any significant impact on this election. There have been too many, and once it was established that leaders could just not show up, the whole thing became a bit of a farce. We need to think seriously about whether we should have these kind of debates in future, and if so we need a proper commission to regulate and organise them.
    My own preference: There should be just one or two debates, with all party leaders agreeing to attend them. They should be at least 90 minutes long, and they should either have no audience at all or an audience made up of genuinely undecided voters.

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