'You Cut And Run': Rishi Sunak Clashes With BBC's Nick Robinson In Tetchy TV Interview

Rishi Sunak faced the BBC's Nick Robinson in a tetchy interview on Monday night.
Rishi Sunak faced the BBC's Nick Robinson in a tetchy interview on Monday night. BBC

Rishi Sunak has been accused of deciding to “cut and run” by calling a snap general election, as he engaged in a combative interview on the BBC.

In the clash with Nick Robinson on Monday evening, the prime minister was asked why the Tories deserved “another chance” after “all the broken promises”.

Sunak admitted it had become harder to own a home during the 14-years of Conservative government.

He conceded NHS waiting lists have gone up since he promised to bring them down.

The PM was forced to defend not having yet deported a single asylum seeker to Rwanda.

And he pleaded yet again with voters to “find it within their hearts to forgive” him for skipping the end of the D-Day ceremony in Normandy.

The July 4 election is now less than four weeks away, and the polls point to a comfortable Labour victory.

Chris Hopkins, director of pollsters Savanta, told HuffPost UK the election result could be “an extinction-level event for the Conservatives”.

Home ownership

Sunak admitted that it had become harder for people to buy their own home during the 14-years the Tories had been in power.

“Having your own home has got harder under a Conservative government, hasn’t it?” Robinson asked.

Sunak said: “It has got harder, and I want to make sure that it’s easier.”

NHS waiting lists

On the NHS, Robinson pointed out Sunak had made cutting waiting lists one of his five pledges  in January 2023.

At the time, the prime minister said voters should “hold me to account” on the promise.

Robinson asked: “Have they gone up or down since you made that pledge? They’ve gone up, yes?”

Sunak admitted: “Yes.”


Sunak has made deporting people seeking in asylum in the UK to Rwanda a flagship policy. But it has yet to happen.

Robinson asked: “How many people have gone to Rwanda in the three years since you announced that you would do this? None, is the answer.”

Sunak admitted: “Yes.”

The prime minister added flights would take off if people re-elected him as prime minister on July 4. “Now I have a plan,” he said.

But Robinson hit back: “You cut and run. You had the election before and now we have to take it on trust.

“You sound to me like a guy in a pub who borrows 50 quid and he borrowed it three years ago and he keeps saying, ‘don’t worry, I’ll pay you back’ and then when you confront him in the pub, he says, ‘I’ll pay you tomorrow,’ you wouldn’t believe him, would you?

“You’re constantly promising what you will do, but what you haven’t done so far.”

Tax rises

Robinson confronted Sunak over his claim Labour will raise taxes by £2,000 for every working family.

Keir Starmer has said this is not true and the prime minister is deliberately “lying”.

And Robinson told Sunak: “You’ve got a bit of a nerve, haven’t you?

“Under Rishi Sunak, as chancellor and then prime minister, the total tax bill in this country has gone up by £93 billion a year, that’s even more than Jeremy Corbyn wanted to put on people.”


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Earlier today during a campaign visit, Sunak was forced to deny he considered quitting following the row over his absence from D-Day commemorations.

Robinson showed Sunak a photo of foreign secretary David Cameron standing alongside US president Joe Biden on the beaches of Normandy in his place.

The BBC presenter asked if it was not the “basic duty” of a prime minister to have been there.

Sunak said: “I’ve apologised unreservedly for the mistake and I hope people can find it in their hearts to forgive me.”

Robinson ended the interview by telling Sunak: “After 14 years, five prime ministers, Boris Johnson lying about parties, Liz Truss almost crashing the economy and you bunking off D-Day, after all the broken promises, you really think you deserve another chance?”