The Andrew Marr Show
The paper review was slightly weird today, as anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller picked an interview with herself as the first story to talk about. Odd.
In terms of the main business, Ukip deputy leader Peter Whittle was sent out to bat for Paul Nuttall, who was away licking his wounds after losing the Stoke Central by-election.
Whittle ruled out any suggestion that Nuttall would step down as leader after the defeat, and insisted Ukip was more united than ever.
He did concede that Nuttall running in the Stoke Central by-election just three months into his leadership was a “mistake”.
Amid claims that Ukip donor Arron Banks is insisting he be made party chairman or he’ll stop giving cash, Whittle said current chairman Paul Oakden was doing an excellent job.
Tory Chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin was quizzed about the upcoming Budget – specifically if last year’s controversial cuts to benefits would be axed.
He replied: “We’re spending a lot of money on benefits overall and we need to balance the books and get the deficit down.
When asked about cuts to disability benefits, Sir Patrick said the Government operates “generous schemes” but refused to budge on actual policy.
The highlight of the show was an interview with Labour’s Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrabarti. The clips speak for themselves, but the Corbyn supporter was keen to blame anyone and anything but her leader for the party’s loss in Copeland.
PESTON ON SUNDAY
Home Secretary Amber Rudd was on Peston, and reiterated the Government’s stance that securing the rights of EU citizens in the UK is a priority in the Brexit negotiations.
However, she wouldn’t give a timescale, saying it depended on how the EU acted as the Government wanted a reciprocal agreement to protect Brits overseas.
Rudd admitted that a work visa system was under consideration as part of post-Brexit immigration controls.
When it came to child refugees being resettled in the UK, Rudd accused the media of propagating “fake news” over claims the Government had renegade on a promise to take several thousand youngsters from France.
Finally, Rudd ruled out the possibility of the Government accepting any amendments from the Lords on the Article 50 Bill.
Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson was next up in the chair, and the conversation was inevitably dominated by the party’s by-election disappointment in Copeland.
There’s a full write-up here, but the key clip was Watson calling on Corbyn supporters – and he name checked Len McCluskey – to do more to support the Labour leader.
Away from Labour politics, Watson called on the Prime Minister to get Donald Trump to allow British media outlets back into his press conferences.
Watson refused to repeat his PMQs dab…
Sophy Ridge on Sunday
Labour’s Lisa Nandy – frequently touted as a future party leader – was the big set piece interview on Sky New’s Ridge show today. Speaking from Wigan, Nandy said she was “relieved” that Labour had beaten Ukip in Stoke, but the Copeland result was “very, very bad”.
However, Nandy did not call on Corbyn to step down as leader, but repeated the words of his own allies that he had a year to turn the polls around.
Nandy was unable to hide a small smile as Ridge told her a recent poll had put her only behind Sadiq Khan when it came to who should replace Corbyn. However, she said the change needed for the party to win is “not going to come from one person alone.”
Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner said the Copeland defeat was “terrible” and “the nuclear issue…was one of the issues that really hit us in that by-election.”
Ridge flagged up some of the excuses used by the Shadow Cabinet for the Copeland defeat, including “fake news” and “Tony Blair”. Gardiner said all MPs had to share responsibility for the result.
The seemingly never-ending Ukip civil war was given another airing on the Sunday Politics. Patrick O’Flynn – one of Paul Nuttall’s closest advisors – hit back at suggestions from Arron Banks that the “Tory cabal” within the party needed to be axed.
When asked if Banks should be made chairman, O’Flynn said: “I don’t think so.”
O’Flynn denied Ukip was a busted flush, saying it would still do well with traditional Labour voters as Corbyn “spent Christmas sitting round camp fires with Mexican Marxists dreaming of global government. We believe in the nation state and we believe a patriotic working class vote will be very receptive to our argument.”
Kezia Dugdale, leader of Scottish Labour, appeared to say that she did in fact have a plan to turn round the party north of the border.
Dugdale also countered claims that London Mayor Sadiq Khan had branded the SNP as racist.
She said: “I think that Sadiq Khan was very clear yesterday that he wasn’t accusing the SNP of racism. What he was saying very clear though, was that nationalism, by its very nature, divides people, divides communities.”