Corbyn caught short on childcare costs in Woman's Hour interview

Written by David Singleton on 30 May 2017 in Diary

But supporters slammed 'hostile' questioning and commended the Labour leader for remaining calm.

After a confident performance on TV last night, Jeremy Corbyn today came unstuck when quizzed on the radio about how much Labour’s plan for universal free childcare would cost.

Many political pundits felt that the Labour leader had the upper hand over Theresa May in the Channel 4 News / Sky News ‘Battle for Number 10’ programme.

But after surviving his encounter with Jeremy Paxman, Corbyn was left floundering when appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

The Labour leader was discussing his plan to extend 30 hours of free childcare to 2-4 year olds with presenter Emma Barnett.

Asked how much the policy would cost, Corbyn could only say it would "cost a lot to do that".

Asked again for the figure, he said: "I’ll give you the figure in a moment."

Barnett then took the Labour leader to task, saying: "You’re logging into your iPad. You’ve announced a major policy and you don’t know how much it’ll cost?"





The presenter went on to suggest that Corbyn’s failure to come up with a figure showed that "we cannot trust you with our money" and that it "hardly inspires the voters".

After an awkward three minutes, Barnett eventually quoted the figure of £2.7bn to Corbyn who told her she was correct.

While many observers immediately called the interview a car crash for Corbyn, others lined up to commend the Labour leader for keeping calm under fire - and to express their anger with Barnett for being "astoundingly hostile" and making Paxman seem "polite and unbiased".




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