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From Brexit to the economy, how Prime Minister Boris Johnson kept Jeremy Corbyn on the ropes


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Blow by blow from Brexit to the economy, how Prime Minister Boris Johnson got Jeremy Corbyn on the ropes during TV debate (but lost points on the NHS)

ON BREXIT…

WHAT JOHNSON SAID

Labour is dither and delay, and we don’t know on which side Corbyn would campaign for – Leave or Remain.

WHAT CORBYN SAID

We will get Brexit sorted by giving you the final say.

Johnson (pictured during Tuesday night’s debate) kept Corbyn on the ropes with his position on Brexit, writes Jack Doyle 

ANALYSIS

Honing in on his opponent’s weak spot, Boris Johnson hammered Jeremy Corbyn again and again to say whether he would support Leave or Remain in a second referendum. He called it a ‘glaring lacuna’, a ‘void’, an ‘enigma’ and a ‘conundrum’. The Labour leader twisted and turned but didn’t have an answer – and by the end was being laughed at by the audience for refusing to address the question. In an attempt to return the debate to his script, Corbyn claimed the PM would spend seven years negotiating a trade deal with the US, and forced Johnson to say the NHS will ‘never be for sale’.

VERDICT  

Clear Johnson win

The Labour leader (right, with Johnson, left, during the debate on ITV) failed to land blows on the subject of the NHS, writes Jack Doyle

The Labour leader (right, with Johnson, left, during the debate on ITV) failed to land blows on the subject of the NHS, writes Jack Doyle 

THE UNION

WHAT JOHNSON SAID 

Corbyn would do a deal with Nicola Sturgeon on a second referendum, and sell out the Union.

WHAT CORBYN SAID 

I won’t do a deal!

ANALYSIS 

Corbyn was again on the ropes when he refused to rule out another independence referendum in Scotland, saying only that there wouldn’t be one ‘in the early years’. The Prime Minister picked him up on this evasion and pointed it out to the audience, before warning there would be a ‘chaotic coalition’ involving Labour and the SNP. Corbyn immediately hit back that there had been ‘nine years of chaotic coalition’ – which isn’t true, but the blow landed.

VERDICT 

Points win for Johnson

TRUST IN POLITICS 

WHAT JOHNSON SAID

The failure to deliver Brexit has undermined trust in politics

WHAT CORBYN SAID 

I haven’t failed on anti-Semitism.

ANALYSIS 

A question about trust in politics and politicians which went nowhere until Julie Etchingham brought up anti-Semitism and put Corbyn on the defensive and forced him to defend his record on rooting out anti-Jewish racism. Johnson accused him of a ‘complete failure of leadership’. But the issue of integrity was also the PM’s most difficult to handle. Accused by Etchingham of having betrayed people he worked for, his protestation that he believed the ‘truth mattered’ in politics had the audience laughing. In the end the men shook hands and agreed to take the nastiness out of politics.

VERDICT 

Boris’s toughest section

Corbyn (pictured during the debate) did not win the round of questions on the NHS as he expressed fears of it being sold off to Trump

Corbyn (pictured during the debate) did not win the round of questions on the NHS as he expressed fears of it being sold off to Trump 

NHS

WHAT JOHNSON SAID 

I won’t sell off the NHS, and the four-day week would be a disaster.

WHAT CORBYN SAID  

The Tories will sell the NHS to Donald Trump.

ANALYSIS  

On what should be comfortable territory for the Labour leader, he lost ground. The two men attempted to outdo each other with paeans of praise for the health service, with the Prime Minister calling it ‘one of the single most brilliant and beautiful things about our country’ and repeating his insistence the NHS would never be up for sale. Cleverly, Johnson managed to turn the debate on to the cost to the NHS of the four-day week – with Corbyn facing audience laughter when he said it would be good for productivity. The PM even got the chance to say his social care policy would mean nobody ‘having to sell their home’ – distancing himself from Theresa May’s disastrous dementia tax.

VERDICT 

No win for the Labour leader, on what he thinks should be his strongest hand

ECONOMY 

WHAT JOHNSON SAID 

You need a strong economy to pay for public services.

WHAT CORBYN SAID 

Britain is only working for the billionaires.

ANALYSIS 

Twisting a question about how to pay for public services, Corbyn went in hard on austerity and inequality and captured his Marxist view of Britain in a soundbite when he said: ‘We are a society of billionaires and the very poor and neither is right.’ In response, Johnson pointed out he had ditched a £6billion corporation tax cut to pay for public services and warned that Corbyn would ‘destroy the basis of wealth creation in this country.’ Host Etchingham said the PM would need a ‘magic money tree’ and Corbyn several to pay for his spending plans – allowing Johnson to win a laugh with a line about a ‘magic money forest’.

VERDICT 

Johnson win as Corbyn’s spending plans were reduced to a laughing stock

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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