The Prime Minister was probed into why he didn’t stand up to ‘snowflake’ Tory MPs over their behaviour surrounding the suspension of the BBC host Gary Lineker.
Facing Rishi Sunak ahead of Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget, the Labour leader framed his questioning around the row between the BBC and the Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker.
Starmer asked Sunak “how concerned was he about a campaign by Tory MPs to cancel a broadcaster?”
Sunak responded by saying it was a matter for the BBC and accused Sunak of ‘political opportunism.’ The Labour leader said Tory MPs’ attempts to ‘cancel’ MOTD should have been ‘laughable,’ adding that the PM should ‘take some responsibility and stand up to his snowflake MPs.’
Starmer continued to press Sunak on Tory links to the BBC, asking if the government realises they’ve made people’s concerns about BBC impartiality worse, including making Tory donor, Richard Sharp, chairman, despite his lack of broadcasting experience.
But it was perhaps the SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn’s comments that got the biggest reaction in the Commons. He asked the Prime Minister about his private heated swimming pool, saying that households in Scotland were waking up to freezing temperatures.
Flynn said: “On Monday as households in Scotland were awakening to freezing temperatures, they were met with the news that the electricity grid had been upgraded in order to meet the power demands of the Prime Minister’s new swimming pool.
“So may I ask him, was it whilst he was taking a leisurely dip that he decided to leave households drowning in their energy bills?”
Rishi Sunak replied: “Thanks to the actions of this government, what we have provided is over £1,300 to help families with their energy bills over the last year. I wouldn’t want to pre-empt what the Chancellor is going to say later, but this is a government that is committed to continuing to help people with the cost of living and that’s what you will hear later on.”
Stephen Flynn has called on Jeremy Hunt to cut energy bills by £500, and not just freeze them.
“God knows the Treasury have the extra revenue from VAT and taxes since prices sky rocketed. The Tories are allowing us to be fleeced, this must end,” he said in an interview on BBC Breakfast this week.
Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward
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