Ed Balls, Labour’s shadow chancellor, awkwardly forgot the name of one of his party’s major business supporters in an interview with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis.
Balls was attempting to counter accusations by Boots boss Stefano Pessina that a Labour government would be a “catastrophe” for British businesses. Maitlis asked him to name some business leaders who support labour. But the shadow chancellor seemed to lose his way responding: “Well, erm, Bill, erm, the former chief executive of EDS.”
Maitlis asked: “What was his name?”
To which Balls was forced to admit: “It has just gone from my head, which is a bit annoying at this time of night.” He then failed to namecheck a single executive from the business world who supported Labour.
“OK, so we’ve got Bill somebody,” Maitlis said, rather unkindly.
As he later made clear on Twitter, the name he was reaching for was Bill Thomas, who chaired Labour’s small business taskforce.
Here’s the clip in full:
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