Nick Robinson loses it with Labour spokesman – ‘telling us nothing’ | Politics | News

A Labour shadow minister was bruised up by the BBC’s Nick Robinson this morning, after the top presenter slammed Labour for repeatedly refusing to tell voters what the party would do in Government.

Shadow minister without portfolio Nick Thomas-Symonds went onto the Today Programme to criticise the Government’s new major free childcare policy, coming into force today.

While parents of two-year-olds will now enjoy 15 hours free childcare a week thanks to £8 billion in new Government funding, Labour has blasted the policy.

Mr Thomas-Symonds complained that while the extra allowance should be welcomed, parents are being betrayed as they struggle to find care provider spaces to take their children.

The Labour spokesman said his party will ask Sir David Bell, if they win the election, to “quickly undertake” a new review of how to deal with the problem Labour is highlighting.

However Nick Robinson launched into a furious rant about Labour continuously criticising the Conservatives but offering no concrete alternative policies.

Mr Robinson said: “You’re criticising the Government for not having a plan, and you haven’t got a plan!”

“What you’ve got is a review…. The idea that a review will miraculously deliver a plan is naive isn’t it? When you might be in office within seven or eight months.”

Mr Thomas-Symonds hit back that Labour’s policy of a review “is not naive”, falling back on criticising the Government’s record as “not good enough”.

Mr Robinson launched into a second tirade, observing that what voters are discovering in this election year is “that the Labour Party is quick to criticise, and then says the same thing in answer to almost every question: ‘We’ll tell you later’.”

He launched into a mock interview with Labour’s shadow ministers: “What’s your plan? ‘We’ll tell you later’.”

“What’s the review going to do? ‘We’ll tell you later’.

“How will you pay for it? ‘We’ll tell you later’.

“How much will you spend on it? ‘We’ll tell you later’.

“You’re telling us almost nothing about what you might do a government!”

Mr Thomas-Symonds hit back that he disagreed with this character, saying that his party is setting out that parents should “not only be having these entitlements to additional childcare funded hours, they should actually be able to access them”.

Mr Robinson sarcastically quipped: “That’s like saying you’re in favour of motherhood and apple pie!”

“Everybody’s in favour of promises that could deliver what they want!”

Among major tax and welfare changes coming into force today, the new free childcare entitlement will save working parents an average of £3,450 a year.

Honing in on the changes to free childcare hours this morning, minister Kevin Hollinrake said the £8 billion boost is “great”.

He added: “15 hours of childcare for parents of two-year-olds, and that expands over the next year to 30 hours for any child nine months or over, so really good news for parents”.

“It’s worth about £6,900 for the typical household, a lot of money, and is really good for those households in terms of their ability to go out and earn more money and get some help with their childcare”.

Mr Hollinrake said that the measures put in place at this year’s Budget will bring around 300,000 Brits back into the world of work, boosting the economy and ending stagnation.

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