John McDonnell gets ‘bashed up’ – and not just by John Humphrys
Listen: The shadoiw chancellor's Today programme interview got off to an odd start.
There was much merriment in the Radio 4 studio this morning when John Humphrys clocked the state of his guest.
“You’re looking very bashed up,” noted the presenter. “What happened to you.?”
John McDonnell acknowledged that "I do look as though I’ve gone a few rounds with Muhammad Ali". The shadow chancellor explained that he had got off the bus late at night and someone had fly tipped at the end of his road. “So I missed it and I literally landed on my face. I thought I’d broken my nose and teeth.”
Turning to Humphreys, McDonnell then predicted that “he’ll beat me up anyway, no matter what.”
So how did he get on? The presenter started with a few initial jabs on Labour’s spending plans followed by a swing at their plans to scrap tuition fees. “So people who don’t go to university should have to pay? That’s not a very socialist approach,” remarked Humphries.
And then there was – of course - a sustained assault on Labour's Brexit policy...
Humphreys v McDonnell on Brexit - edited highlights
Humphreys: How would Labour frame a second referendum vote?
McDonnell: We’re keeping all options on the table.
Humphreys: That’s a none answer isn’t it. Would people be able to vote to say in or leave?
McDonnell: Parliament will decide on the question but we’re keeping all options on the table.
Humphreys: That’s like having no policy isn’t it? Because half of your party wants to stay in and half want out and you don’t want to upset anyone.
McDonnell: This isn’t just about Labour. The country is divided.
Humphreys: Will you give people the option to vote remain?
McDonnell: All options are on the table
Humphreys: So the answer is yes. Why not just say it?
McDonnell: I’m repeating the Labour conference composite because I’m a democrat and I abisde by conference decisions.
Humphreys: Yes I know. I was trying to get you to give a straightforward answer.