Theresa May’s Conservative government has been accused of spreading “fake news”. The context of the accusation surrounds comments made by Jeremy Corbyn in the run-up to the general election. But despite numerous reports to the contrary, May keeps on repeating the same alleged ‘lie’.
She said what?
Peter Stefanovic is becoming well known on social media. He’s getting a reputation for producing video shorts that cut through mainstream media bias; ones that tell the viewer the whole story on political and social issues. And in his latest video, he gets straight to the point and calls May out for “spreading fake news”.
May claimed at PMQs on 19 July that:
The leader of the opposition vowed to deal with student debt. Labour were going to abolish student debt. Now, they say it wasn’t a promise at all. Students know Labour can’t be trusted on student fees.
A “flurry of misinformation”
This accusation that Labour pledged to write off all existing student debt has been heavily reported, and debunked. And Stefanovic was having none of it. He accused [1.22] May of a “deliberate misrepresentation of facts”. And he said [2.15]:
We’ve seen a flurry of misinformation put out by a biased right-wing media… There was never anything in the Labour manifesto that even suggested [wiping out existing student debt]… [Corbyn] made it clear he didn’t yet have a simple answer for it…
A quick scan of the Labour Party manifesto [pdf] indeed shows there was no mention of wiping out existing student debt. And as Stefanovic noted, Corbyn said [8.30] in an interview with NME on 1 June:
Yes, there is a problem of those that currently have a massive debt. And I’m looking at ways that we could reduce that… lengthen the period of paying it of, or some other means of reducing that debt burden. I don’t have the simple answer for it at this stage. I don’t think anybody would expect me to because this election was called unexpected. We had two weeks to prepare all of this…
May: liar, liar
Corbyn’s straight answer on existing student debt is in contrast to the way the Conservative Party operates. For example, as The Canary previously reported, the rise in the state pension age was – by law – supposed to be announced on Sunday 7 May. But the Tories chose to break this law, possibly to try and sweeten the electorate. And they delayed the announcement.
But what just happened? On Wednesday 19 July, the Conservative government announced they’d be bringing forward the state pension age rise by seven years. So people would be retiring at 68 from 2037, not 2044.
If Theresa May’s really looking to expose the UK party that “can’t be trusted”, maybe she should start looking closer to home.
– See more Canary articles on tuition fees and student debt.
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Featured image via Flickr/Flickr