Thursday 30 March 2017

Sky News presenter tells politician 'you're toast' in live TV interview

Owen Smith on Sky News. Photo: Sky News
Owen Smith on Sky News. Photo: Sky News

Ashley Cowburn

A Sky News presenter forced a British politician to deny he "is toast” in the Labour party leadership contest, during a live TV interview.

MP Owen Smith was placed 24 points behind current party leader Jeremy Corbyn in a recent poll.

Sky News presenter Kay Burley put it to him that he was "toast" and that he "had no chance of being Labour leader".

“Well, I don’t agree with that at all," he replied.

“There has been one poll that puts me 20 points behind but the truth is… the truth is the poll is based on last year’s data, last year’s selectorate. A third of those voters have not yet voted so there’s a long way to run in the race.

"Our data, the polling that we’ve been doing, the phone banking that we’ve been doing shows that this is still balanced on knife’s edge – that it is 50-50."

Asked where he was “sure” by the presenter, Mr Smith retorted: “Positive, positive… Yes, I wouldn’t be entering this race unless I thought I had a chance of winning it Kay and I’m still convinced this is balanced on a knife edge”

The encounter comes after polling, released by YouGov on Tuesday, claimed Mr Corbyn was on course for a landslide victory in the contest. The poll placed the Labour leader on 62 per cent of the vote share – 24 points ahead of Mr Smith, who was on 38 per cent.

This result would represent an increase in support for Mr Corbyn compared to the results of the 2015 leadership election – where he won 59.5 per cent of members' vote.

The left-wing leader’s lead in the poll comes despite Labour’s ruling body winning a challenge against a High Court decision allowing new party members to vote in the contest.

The decision to overturn the High Court judgement was widely expected to have damaged Mr Corbyn’s campaign to retain his position at the helm of the party.

Independent News Service

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