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Sky's Eamonn Holmes panned over 'cosy' Cameron interview on Sunrise

Published 06/10/2015

Eamonn Holmes has come under fire over his interview with David Cameron
Eamonn Holmes has come under fire over his interview with David Cameron

Sky News presenter Eamonn Holmes has been accused of giving Prime Minister David Cameron an easy time during an interview this morning - one week after his controversial exchange with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The Northern Ireland born presenter and the Labour leader clashed last week when Mr Corbyn appeared on the Sunrise news show during Labour’s annual conference.

Holmes was criticised by viewers for asking “inane” questions and using meandering football analogies in his line of questioning while a bemused Mr Corbyn tried to steer the conversation back to politics.

Mr Corbyn was also interrogated about the colour of his tie and his decision to go with a slightly different shade at the Labour conference. The interview culminated with Holmes asking “do you want to be a winner?” repeatedly.

David Cameron appeared on Sunrise today to defend recently announced cuts to working tax credits. Holmes criticised the “tone” taken by Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, who said cuts were a step towards “self-respect” when defending tax credits, and asked how the Government could justify cuts that will affect three million people to those who will be financially worse off.

“But people on tax credits - that’s not about living within your means," said Holmes. "I know you say eight out of 10 are going to be better off but two out of ten will be worse off, and I think it’s just the whole tone of things, maybe the way Jeremy Hunt has come out and talked about things yesterday. […]

“How do you tell that to the steel workers who didn’t even get a mention in George Osborne’s speech yesterday?”

Holmes also questioned Mr Cameron on the Home Secretary Theresa May’s warning that high immigration levels will hinder a “cohesive society”, asking him simply: “Do you agree?”

He praised his comments about truancy as a “fair point” before concluding his interview by pressing him on his political plans.

Viewers accused Holmes of showing a bias towards Mr Cameron by asking more focused, coherent questions and giving the Prime Minister more room to answer. Holmes repeatedly interrupted Mr Corbyn during their discussion and Mr Corbyn eventually resorted to jokingly pleading: “Eamonn, can I just answer the question?”

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Mr Cameron reiterated his promise that he would not stand for a third term as Prime Minister, telling Holmes he was “half-way through” his job.

“We've got a stronger economy now, let's finish that work, let's add to that a more secure country and let's add to that a country where we build genuine social mobility so people can go from the bottom to the very top," he said.

“I've also got a talented team behind me and after I've done the two terms, the 10 years, I'm sure there'll be many talented people who put their name forward and frankly I'm proud of the fact that they are increasingly being noticed as a talented bunch.”

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