Appalled MP takes down BBC on air after host claims UK poverty ‘must be’ Labour’s fault

Laura Pidcock on the BBC

BBC Politics Live host Jo Coburn tried to blame the Labour Party for the Conservatives’ record on UK poverty on 22 May.

“Must be your fault”

Shadow business minister Laura Pidcock put a newly published UN report showing the “tragic social consequences” of Tory-led austerity on the Politics Live agenda. In response, Coburn first tried to switch the topic away from the UN report:

Let’s stick to schools because you’re moving onto something slightly different here

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She then sought to blame Labour:

That must be your fault as the opposition because you’ve not done enough to bring these issues to the fore

Pidcock later took aim at the BBC‘s coverage:

This should have been a headline on the BBC. This report should’ve been the main story.


The UN report is scathing. According to UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty Philip Alston, austerity, which the Lib Dems enabled in the coalition government, has “crystal clear” results:

14 million people living in poverty, record levels of hunger and homelessness, falling life expectancy for some groups, ever fewer community services, and greatly reduced policing, while access to the courts for lower-income groups has been dramatically rolled back by cuts to legal aid.

Alston also said that “UK standards of well-being have descended precipitately in a remarkably short period of time, as a result of deliberate policy choices made when many other options were available”.

Nonetheless, on the BBC, Coburn seemed preoccupied with the affairs of the ruling class – like the spectacle of a spiralling Conservative Party. It took Pidcock to bring the UN report onto the Politics Live agenda. And even then, Coburn had the cheek to put blame onto her party for an unaccountable government.

Featured image via Laura PidcockMP/ Twitter

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