Monday 24 April 2017

Labour stone mad over slip-up

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine after casting their votes at Sutton village hall in Doncaster. Photo: PA
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine after casting their votes at Sutton village hall in Doncaster. Photo: PA

Dean Gray in London

You have to feel sorry for Labour's election co‑ordinator, Lucy Powell. You do dozens of interviews, stick to the "script" and they go unremarked upon. But make one slip of the tongue and it all goes wrong.

That's what happened yesterday as Ms Powell was grilled on Radio 5 Live about Labour's slightly bizarre scheme to engrave the party's pledges on to a big stone slab.

Ms Powell was doing fine defending the idea until she misspoke and seemed to suggest that just because the pledges were carved in stone it didn't necessarily mean that Ed Miliband had to stick to them. "I don't think anyone's suggesting that the fact he's carved them into stone means he's absolutely, you know, not going to break them or anything like that," she said.

Within minutes Twitter and the Tories were having fun at her expense - with some wit even mocking up the said stone with her quote engraved upon it.

But Ms Powell did not see the funny side. "Tories and others desperately misquoting what I said," she tweeted. "Anyone who heard the whole interview knows I said the opposite."

She clearly misspoke but the full transcript does not back up her claim.

Irish Independent

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