Tag Archives: laura kuenssberg

Ed Davey on Kuenssberg – what next for the Liberal Democrats?

There was a lovely shot at the top of this morning’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg of a very happy looking Ed Davey standing in his garden. Some might say he even looked a wee bit smug, but he is entirely entitled to do so after our amazing result on Thursday.

Lib Dem MPs will make up the third largest group in Parliament. That means that Ed will get two questions to the Prime Minister every week. We’ll get more speaking time. We’ll get more media time. I mean, we’re on Kuenssberg for the second  Sunday in a row.  We will still need to make the absolute most of every opportunity we get, but it’s a massive step forward. It’s strange to think that there will be only 49 more Tories than there are of us. While they will be ripping themselves apart trying to decide whether they are going to go full throttle ultra right or to try to regain some semblance of one nation conservatism, we will be united, dynamic and brimming with ideas.

It will be a change in dynamics, too. Our returning MPs have had to juggle several portfolios each and they have done so admirably.  We will now have the capacity to share the workload and have backbenchers for the first time in a decade. Maybe we might get a Select Committee chair or two.

Anyway, back to Ed’s interview.

Congratulations, I suppose, said Laura. A bit grudging, I have to say.

Her first question: What do you plan to do with all these new MPs?

It was an amazing result for us. We are excited by this opportunity. We fought the campaign putting health and care at the top of our list and we will fight in Parliament on health and care. I have already called for an emergency budget for health and care this month so we can start to rescue our NHS which has been brought to its knees by the Conservatives.

Will we be as tough on Labour as the Conservatives? Ed said that we would be putting forward our ideas on care, on the environment in the hope that Labour would take some of them on board.

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Ed Davey on Kuenssberg: Lib Dems could make real gains at this election

It was Ed Davey’s turn to be interviewed by Laura Kuenssberg this morning.

Her first question was from a sub post master who actually compared Ed to Boris Johnson because of the various attention grabbing stunts. How can this encourage trust?

Ed replied that all these stunts have engaged people.

We’re talking about social care and cost of living and the environment. I am determined in all the seats we can win that people hear about what the Lib Dems stand for from our local champions. We could make real gains at this election.

We are taking the voters’ concerns really seriously. I don’t take my self too seriously but we don’t take ourselves too seriosly. When I came down that slide, we were talking about our policy on improving mental health for children. We want to see a qualified mental health professional in every school, paid for by rise in Digital Services Tax.

Kuenssberg asked him about the protections for whistleblowers in the Lib Dem manifesto and pressed him (again) on his actions when he was Post Office minister. Those proposals are:

Ensure justice for the victims of scandals and prevent future scandals, including
• Providing full and fair compensation to all victims of the Horizon Post Office
scandal and the Infected Blood scandal as quickly as possible.
• Protecting whistleblowers by establishing a new Office of the Whistleblower,
creating new legal protections, and promoting greater public awareness of
their rights.
• Introducing the Hillsborough Law: a statutory duty of candour on police
officers and all public officials, including during all forms of public inquiry and criminal investigation.

Ed responded that it was vital to protect whistleblowers because it was the
whistleblower from Fujitsu whose evidence in 2015 provided a huge step forward for the sub-postmasters getting justice. Their revelation that the Post OFfice was lying to ministers was crucial to getting this sorted.

He said that he took Alan Bates’ issues really seriously and was the only one who put his concerns to the Post Office in any level of detail but he was lied to.

We need to change the system – we have seen it in contaminated blood and Hillsborough. You can’t run a system if people are lied to. Lib Dems have led on whistleblower protection and duty of candour.

Kuenssberg then turned to the issue of carers, and acknowledged how Ed had talked of his own caring experience.

However, she challenged him on the Coalition Government’s record. During 2010-15, social care spending had been cut in real terms. Did he regret that?

Ed could point to the Care Act of 2014 which, he said, would have improved care for people from 2015-16 as something we had contributed to that made life better for carers and those they care for. He added that we had stopped the Conservatives making the exact cuts to the social security budget that they made with indecent haste when we were out of the picture.

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You wouldn’t think the Lib Dems had come second from the media coverage

It took Laura Kuenssberg 52 minutes to get round to talking about the Lib Dem success on her show this morning. And the fact that we got more councillors than the Conservatives for the first time in 28 years got the most perfunctory of mentions.

To add insult to injury, there were 3 Conservatives and 2 Labour people in the studio and nothing at all from us.

And it wasn’t from lack of effort on our part, given that Tim Farron was, rightly, complaining on Twitter:


Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 29 Comments

BBC acknowledges Clarkson omission

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that Laura Kuenssberg should have questioned the editor of The Sun, Victoria Newton, over the paper’s publication of a horribly misogynistic column about the Duchess of Sussex.

But what really annoys me is that Laura Kuenssberg had the editor of the Sun sitting right there in front of her on her show this morning and she didn’t challenge her on why she had allowed such a piece of violent misogyny to be published. And nor did any of the other panellists. No wonder the right wing press get away with so much when they know that they will not come under any scrutiny.

Instead, Kuenssberg chose to ask the editor of The Sun whether Harry’s claims about the collusion between the royals and the media were true. She took the obvious denial at face value but didn’t take it any further. It was a valid question, but she should have followed up with something on this article.

Harry and Meghan says that the racist and misogynist attacks on Meghan in the British press, and the failure of the Royal Family to protect her, led to them basically fleeing the country. Clarkson’s article, published by one media outlet unscrutinised by others, makes their point for them.

Since then, the Sun has removed the article and apologised. 

At the time, I complained to the BBC in a bit of a triumph of hope over experience. I have complained many times over the years (usually about under-representation of Lib Dems) without getting a satisfactory outcome.

However, this week, I was surprised that their reply acknowledged the omission:

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Laura Kuenssberg appointed as BBC political editor

laura kuenssbergThe BBC has announced that Laura Kuenssberg is to be its new Political Editor, succeeding Nick Robinson who is moving to the Radio 4 Today programme.

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