Shelagh Fogarty is Leading Britain's Conversation.
22 January 2017, 10:34
Kevin Maguire and Peter Whittle locked horns on Andrew Castle's LBC show this morning.
The LBC presenter was discussing UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall’s fight to win Stoke Central’s by-election.
He asked his audience whether this was UKIP’s chance to take Labour’s ‘secure seat’.
Both Kevin Maguire, Associate Editor at the Daily Mirror, and UKIP Deputy Leader Peter Whittle were invited on the show to discuss the topic.
But the pair soon locked horns on the subject.
Kevin said: “There’s often a patronising view about Paul, who [has] spent a lot of his early leadership still in the shadow of Nigel Farage and the jet-setting Brexit elite, he’s got to break out of that, I understand.
“He’s spent his time apologising for UKIP claiming that he had a Doctorate, or PHD, which he hadn’t, and he had played professional football…which he hadn’t.
“I think it’s rather patronising of something UKIP to believe just because he’s got a Scouse accent and shaven head he’ll somehow go down well in Stoke.”
Andrew and Peter Whittle then went onto discuss Theresa May.
But Peter Whittle soon responded to Kevin’s earlier comments: “I must say this, you know in some ways, what Kevin has just said, absolutely proves our point.
“The fact is he knows that Labour have go no answers whatsoever for the sort of things that concern people in Stoke, so what is he doing? He’s attacking and smearing, and actually telling lies about Paul Nuttall.
Andrew asked: “What lies?”
Peter went on: “Well first of all, that he called for the privatisation of the NHS. Paul did no such thing. He talked quite a few years ago about how certain sections might be open to competition.
“He never ever called for the privatisation. And indeed it is our policy, and it has always been our policy, and if you don’t believe it Kevin, just look in our last manifesto, that the NHS should be free on the point of use.”
Kevin said: “They always run and they’re always free where there are smears. I’m just now looking at quotes from Paul: “I would like to congratulate the coalition government for bringing a whiff of privatisation into the beleaguered National Health Service”. How would you like that?
“That is a straight quote. From 2014. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.”
Peter responded: “Paul has made absolutely clear we had a manifesto last year, sorry, in 2015, we are absolute supporters of the NHS.
“We want to take the foreign aid that we’re currently spending and put that into the NHS instead.
“The idea that somehow or other, because you have no other things, nothing to offer the people of Stoke, you’re committed to dredge up things and basically distort them. And this is simply just not going to wash with people. They’ve seen through you.”