A Conservative parliamentary candidate had his feet held to the fire over claims that the opposition offers a ‘coalition of chaos’ without taking responsibility for his own party’s record in government.
The Tory incumbent for North West Cambridgeshire, Shailesh Vara, was asked by BBC’s Emma Barnett if he agreed with Boris Johnson’s election warnings of a “Corbyn-Sturgeon horror show” and a “coalition of chaos” should the opposition win.
Asking Vara to respond, Barnett said these phrases were “a bit rich” given the Conservatives’ failure to follow through on Brexit promises, after purging 20 loyal MPs, and having a minister resign prior to the launch of their election campaign.
“Is that not chaos epitomised?” she asked.
Vara responded at length, blaming parliamentary “arithmetic” and claiming that Corbyn would offer more chaos.
?"A bit rich coming from the party of government that's promised twice to take us out of the EU and failed... Is that not chaos epitomised?"— BBC Radio 5 Live (@bbc5live) November 13, 2019
?"We've had difficulty over the past three years because of the arithmetic"
Tory candidate @ShaileshVara talks to @EmmaBarnett pic.twitter.com/btI7Fx8ryn
“What we are saying is: ‘get us in, get us in with a working majority, so that we can actually make progress rather than have the paralysis that we’ve had in recent times in parliament’,” he said.
He continued with his attack lines on Corbyn, but ultimately Barnett stopped him to point out the irony in what he was saying.
“You’ve taken no responsibility,” she said, saying that what voters need to know is how to look back at the Tories as the party of government.
She continued: “You have talked there, you said quite blithely ‘we’ve had difficulty because of arithmetic’.
“Now let’s just take these points in turn. The arithmetic was a problem of your own creation by a disastrous election campaign in 2017 by your own leader Theresa May. You don’t seem to have taken any responsibility for your own problems with the arithmetic.”
“I accept that we could have handled the 2017 general election a whole lot better”, admitted Vara.