Eddie Mair forced to correct Lib Dem Sam Gyimah during agonising phone-in

21 November 2019, 08:52 | Updated: 21 November 2019, 09:59

This phone-in with Liberal Democrat candidate Sam Gyimah started off badly... and just got worse and worse as he failed to be able to stay how much their flagship childcare policy would cost.

Caller Saul hailed the policy to give free childcare to parents of children aged 2-4, but wanted to know how it was going to be funded.

Mr Gyimah struggled to answer before he eventually admitted that he didn't have the figures on how much it cost, but it was in the manifesto.

Saul went away and looked at the manifesto, insisting that he couldn't find any stats for how much the pledge would cost.

At the break, Mr Gyimah phoned Lib Dem HQ and was told the policy would cost £14billion.

Eddie Mair asked whether that was per year or over a five-year period and the new Liberal Democrat candidate said it was over five years.

But Eddie did some fact-checking and discovered it would actually cost £14billion per year.

Sam Gyimah's phone-in with Eddie Mair did not go well
Sam Gyimah's phone-in with Eddie Mair did not go well. Picture: LBC

Mr Gyimah then confirmed he had just received a text message confirming it was indeed per year.

"Who's on the text? Should we have them on the programme instead?" Eddie asked him.

Saul added: "If you were on Dragon's Den, you'd fail, you'd be chucked out."

Mr Gyimah insisted: "We are providing the figures. I did not have it at my fingertips, but that doesn't mean that the figures are not there.

"It does not mean that this is not a well-costed manifesto."

Watch the remarkable moment at the top of the page.