Esther McVey's Gaffe Over Foreign Aid Airport Claim

13 June 2019, 07:24

This is the moment Esther McVey told LBC that foreign aid cash was being wasted on an airport on which the runway was built in the wrong direction - but couldn't say where.

Speaking to Iain Dale, the Tory leadership candidate insisted she would slash the budget for foreign aid and spend that money on the most vulnerable people in the UK instead.

She mentioned that airport - but when Iain asked which airport she's referring to, she could only say: "It's in one of the... err... err... continents abroad."

Esther McVey couldn't say which airport she was talking about
Esther McVey couldn't say which airport she was talking about. Picture: LBC

This is how the conversation went:

Esther McVey: We know some of that money is not spent as there is a rush at the end of the year to spend it. We know places have their own, whether it's space programmes. We know airports have been built and actually the runways are in the wrong direction cause of the winds. What we are saying is...

Iain Dale: Where has that happened?

Esther McVey: There are vulnerable people back at...

Iain Dale: Where has that happened?

Esther McVey: It's in one of the... err... err... continents abroad. We know we've got that airport where we can't take off and land because of the winds, the cross winds there. But what we've got Iain is people in the UK who are the most vulnerable here.

The airport she was referring to is St Helena, one of the most distant UK overseas territories. And as James O'Brien pointed out, official reports say that runway has been a big success.

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