May 30, 2024
Economy

Furious Hunt attacks ‘unworthy’ BBC after Amol Rajan calls chancellor a ‘Soviet Drag Queen’


Jeremy Hunt called the BBC “unworthy” during heated exchanges on the Budget during an interview on Radio 4’s Today programme.

The chancellor criticised programme host Amol Rajan after he called Mr Hunt a “fiscal drag queen” and said his plans to boost NHS productivity were “Soviet.”

Mr Rajan said Britain was “ravaged by economic shocks” and the economy was “at best drifting, at worst stagnant.”

Addressing the chancellor on theToday programme, the BBC presenter said:

“We’ve seen seven quarters of GDP per head that’s been revised downwards. We’re hooked on foreign labour. The birth rate is collapsing. Many public services are creaking. Councils are going bust. Those are facts.”

The angry Mr Hunt replied that the remarks were “unworthy of the BBC… and unworthy of you Amol”

Undeterred, an indignant Mr Rajan defended himself and the corporation saying: “It’s not about what I think – these are the facts.

“It’s a bit rich for you to say ‘I’m not a guy who does gimmicks’. People want radical change and you are not delivering it.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered his spring budget yesterday

(PA Wire)

Mr Hunt sternly replied: “I disagree. We are doing better than other economies in Europe. I do not share your pessimism.”

When Mr Rajan added “I’m trying not to be cynical,” Hunt interjected: “I’m not letting you get away with that.”

Earlier in the show, Mr Rajan rattled the chancellor by referring to him as a “fiscal drag queen”.

He said: “They call you the British fiscal drag queen for good reason. Tax levels are the highest since 1948”.

Mr Hunt replied: “You accuse me of being a drag queen. I haven’t been called that before.”

After claiming the economy was “at best drifting, at worst stagnant,” Mr Rajan added: “We have had seven quarters of falling per head GDP, we’re hooked on foreign labour, the birth rate is collapsing, many public services are creaking, councils are going bust.”

Mr Hunt then lost his temper with the presenter after Mr Rajan said he was “stating facts” as he pointed out that the economy had contracted and public services are strained.

As the two spoke over one another, Mr Rajan interjected: “The BBC is an organisation with tens of thousands of people who do lots of different things.”

Mr Hunt added: “I’m afraid I don’t share your pessimism.”



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