Published On: Mon, Nov 18th, 2019

Election row erupts over Umunna's austerity jibe – 'That's a disgraceful thing to say!'


Mr Umunna left economics commentator Grace Blakeley and host Jo Coburn incensed after making the bold claim. Ms Blakeley labelled his comments “disgraceful” while Ms Coburn urged him to stop trying to distance what the Liberal Democrats did in terms of austerity. Chuka Umunna also claimed immigration was no longer a key political issue. 

He said: “There is a danger in trying to fight the last wars on these things.

“Immigration was a massive political issue three or four years ago.

“My view is that we spent far too much time talking about the numbers of people coming in and out of the country and not enough for example on integration.

“The austerity argument, I can understand why Labour wants to return to the 2017 debate.”

READ MORE: Boris ignores official trying to stop speech – audience laughs loudly

Chuka Umunna

Chuka Umunna (Image: BBC)

Chuka Umunna

The panel react to Chuka Umunna saying we are beyond Austerity (Image: BBC)

The Politics Live host Jo Coburn said: “We do need to talk about your record on austerity which you look as if you’re going to continue.”

The Liberal Democrats MP replied: “The point is I think everybody, we are beyond austerity right now.”

Economics commentator Grace Blakeley raged: “We are so not beyond austerity!

“That is a disgraceful thing to say!”

Chuka Umunna

Jo Coburn puts a stop to the argument briefly (Image: BBC)

Ms Coburn then said: “I do have to interrupt here because I know what you want to say about these other issues from a philosophical point of view but on austerity, you’re trying to distance what the party did in terms of austerity.”

Mr Umunna argued: “If I could Finnish my sentence in fairness I would actually be able to explain what I was trying to say.

“Which is all of the parties in terms of their offer at the moment are in a completely different fiscal position.”

Yesterday LBC host Iain Dale ridiculed the Liberal Democrats for refusing to admit that they can’t win a majority – as he told Jo Swinson that she is falling behind in every poll.

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Chuka Umunna

Chuka Umunna squirms as he tries to justify his comments (Image: BBC)

The Liberal Democrats have plunged in electoral polls in recent days, sparking a crisis for Remainers ahead of the election.

Despite this, the Liberal Democrats’ election message remains that party leader Jo Swinson can still become Prime Minister.

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Iain Dale confronted Jo Swinson during an hour-long interview LBC, starting off by telling that the Liberal Democrats are bleeding votes.



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