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Eamonn Holmes accused of patronising Jeremy Corbyn with 'inane' questions in awkward interview

Published 30/09/2015

Jeremy Corbyn and Eamon Holmes on Sky News.
Jeremy Corbyn and Eamon Holmes on Sky News.

Eamonn Holmes has been accused of patronising Jeremy Corbyn by asking “inane” questions during an interview on Sky News.

The exchange between the presenter and Labour leader became increasingly uncomfortable to watch as Holmes asked a series of jarring questions that provoked angry responses on social media and prompted laughter from Mr Corbyn.

Viewers claimed Holmes "lowered the tone" by using meandering football analogies to describe his leadership.

He began the interview by asking Mr Corbyn: “It wasn’t such a good night for you last night, because I know you're an Arsenal supporter, but it was all going so well and then look at what happened last night.

"Every young lad has a dream of appearing in the FA cup final, and scoring the winning goal, and I was looking at you and the love there was for you in the room, and you were basking in it - was yesterday your FA cup final?”

Holmes then compared Mr Corbyn to a “religious leader” because of his wide appeal, before veering off into a meandering monologue about him being into “caring and respect”.

He went on: “I would love to do that [be respectful and caring], but that doesn’t happen on TV, so…”, to which a clearly bemused Mr Corbyn interjected: “Why can’t it?”

Holmes's rambling response included the passage: “See, people might say your outlook is a bit hippy, like, you know, you sort of want to hug everybody…”

The Sky News presenter's questions were subsequently ridiculed on social media.

He insisted "caring and respect" couldn't be executed during his interview because he would be accused of “sucking up” to him and then interrupted Mr Corbyn to ask a “nasty question” about his decision to use lines offered to previous leaders in his speech at the Labour party conference in Brighton on Tuesday.

“The speech was over 5,000 words, 350 words were provided by a friend of mine," said Mr Corbyn. "I like the words that he used and the way he put them forward so I used them in my speech. Is thats much a bad thing? I quoted poets […] I quoted Maya Angelou.”

Holmes returned once again to the theme of caring and respect. “You don’t love and respect anybody," he told Mr Corbyn. "Why don’t you just admit you hate the Tories? I mean, you can’t talk about respect and love, you actually hate them!”

Mr Corbyn slowly replied: “No.”

Holmes later returned to football analogies, telling Mr Corbyn: “Look, let’s talk football. Your man's Arsene Wenger my man’s Alex Ferguson. Do you think they go into a dressing room and they say, 'listen boys, how are we going to line up tonight, what are we going to do tonight?' […] No they don’t. Fergie always said he had to make it clear, there was one boss. That’s not your way of doing things though.” 

Mr Corbyn responded: “My way of doing things - because it’s politics, it’s community, it’s people, it’s Government - is actually not the same as managing a football team, to which Holmes insisted: “Oh it so is - if you want to be a winner, do you want to be a winner?”

Smiling, Mr Corbyn tried to answer as Holmes repeatedly shouted, “do you want to win?”, before bursting into laughter and protesting: “Eamonn please! Of course I want to win, and of course Labour wants to win.”

Holmes concluded his interview by asking if someone had lent him the tie he wore for his speech, before explaining how the colour of a tie can signify a lot about a political leader.

Clearly amused, Mr Corbyn responded: “The tie came from a friend of mine, because someone on my team didn’t like the colour of the tie I was suggesting.”

The exchange finished with Holmes telling Mr Corbyn: “Stop trying to pick a fight with me. I’m trying to be respectful and caring I hope you felt it was a respectful and caring interview in a new era of politics, and a new era between you and I.”

Source: The Independent

Independent News Service

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