LONDON — Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn unleashed an extraordinary verbal attack on ITV journalist Paul Brand in a sit-down interview aired on Tuesday evening.
Corbyn, who made a number of media appearances yesterday to launch Labour’s campaign ahead of the May local elections, accused Brand and ITV of being “utterly obsessed” with his leadership.
Brand asked Corbyn if it would be better for the health of the struggling opposition party if he stood down as leader.
Labour continues to trail the Conservatives by huge margins in opinion polls while pollster Lord Hayward predicts that it will lose up to 125 seats in nationwide local elections next month.
Here’s a transcript of the fiery exchange:
Paul Brand: “My question to you is if you are so concerned about what the Conservative government is doing to Britain wouldn’t it better to step aside…”
Jeremy Corbyn: “You are obsessed with this question, if I may say so — utterly obsessed with it.
Brand: “Isn’t it important to have an obsession with a strong opposition in Britain?”
Corbyn: “We have a very strong opposition in Britain if you bothered to report what we were doing. If you bothered to report what Jon Ashworth is doing on the health service. If you bothered to report what Angela Raynor is doing and saying on schools. If you bothered to report what the Labour Party is actually saying.
“It’s your responsibility to make sure that the opposition voice is heard as well as the government’s voice.
“It’s your failings.”
You can watch it here:
Brand tweeted last night: “This is a question we would (and do) ask of any leader struggling in the polls… I explained to Jeremy Corbyn, in a cordial chat off camera, that we led @itvnews with the NHS crisis on Fri and education cuts recently too.”
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