Long time readers may remember an interview I did in 2013 with the then Treasury Minister Sajid Javid. [audio of that is at the end of this piece]. It was, shall we say, a textbook example of how, if you’re a government minister, not to deliver the ‘line to take’. He took it in good humour as I think he realised he was on a bit of a losing wicket.
Today we had a bit of a repeat showing when I interviewed him about the Autumn Statement. We warmed up by having a bit of a row about the reason for increased borrowing, but I then asked him this question…
“What’s your view on Philip Hammond’s announcement that tenants shouldn’t have to pay letting fees, landlords should have to pay that? Because your Housing Minister Gavin Barwell tweeted a few weeks ago (now deleted) that he thought that was the wrong thing to do.”
Javid stood by Hammond’s announcement, so I pressed him on Gavin Barwell’s clearly different opinion: “It’s pretty embarrassing, isn’t it?!”
I pressed, and pressed and pressed. In the end, though, I had to call it quits.
So what conclusion do we draw from this? That when you’re in a hole, put your hands up and admit it? Isn’t that the only way to stop digging yourself a deeper hole?
Anyway. for your enjoyment and delectation, here’s the 2013 interview with Sajid. Enjoy.