Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow scored an interview with Theresa May last night after her team agreed to a last-minute appearance on the eve of polling day following “weeks of requests” by the broadcaster.
It came after Snow wrote on Twitter: “In 7 General Elections as anchor @Channel4News, after weeks of requests,Theresa May is the first serving PM to refuse me an interview why?”
On the final day of campaigning yesterday, Snow tweeted his attempts to chase down the party leaders for an interview as they toured the country in a final effort to win over voters.
May’s team granted the anchor a five-minute interview, which aired last night, but he was snubbed in his attempts to speak with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
In the interview, which ran to six minutes, Snow asked May about the so-called “dementia tax” in the Conservative manifesto, Brexit, security issues and her campaign.
Snow accused May of “one of the most dramatic u-turns in the course of an election campaign in history – that of so-called dementia care” and asked her if she had “regrets” about the policy.
May replied: “No, we set out in our manifesto the great challenges that this country faces. I thought it was right to be open with people about those challenges and how we can address them. One of those was the ageing society. It’s great that people are living longer, but that does bring pressures on our social care system…”
On Brexit, May was pressed by Snow over her plan for the negotiations.
May: “You mentioned earlier in one of your questions to me about the Brexit negotiations. I have a plan for those negotiations –
Snow: “Not one you’ve told us much about.”
May: “Yes, I have told you about it actually.”
Snow: “No you haven’t. Nobody knows anymore about Brexit than they did before this.”
May: “I have set out the objectives that I have as Prime Minister – and if my party is back in government on Friday, the 12 objectives we have for those Brexit negotiations.
“It’s about a deep and special partnership with the EU for the future, it’s about a comprehensive free trade agreement so our businesses can continue to trade into Europe. Continuing to co-operate on security and defence matters. Ensuring we are a country that is leading on science and innovation. A number of other objectives that I’ve set out.
“I’ve been very clear about my Brexit negotiation objectives, It think Jeremy Corbyn has had seven different plans in nine months.”
Snow: “The way you call them my Brexit negotiations, defines exactly how you have run this campaign. Me, mine, me, Theresa May, big letters on the bus, tiny little Conservative name, all that. That is perhaps one of the ways in which the campaign has gone wrong.”
On security, Snow said: “Quite a lot of the security failures that have occurred in these last few moths can now be tracked back to your role as Home Secretary… Do you have any responsibility for what’s gone wrong?”
May: “What I did when I was home secretary was ensured that I put into place extra powers for the police and security services, I protected counter terrorism policing, I ensured that the police had the powers they need. I support the police in shooting to kill terrorists…”
Snow: “Final question – you seem happier to talk about eroding human rights rather than boosting security for the country.”
May: “We will be boosting security for the country, but to do that we need to look at the powers that the police may need in the future. I’m willing to do that. I’m willing to say, let’s look at making it easier to deport foreign terror suspects. Let’s make longer sentences for people who are convicted of terrorism offences.
“Let’s ensure that we can take more action to restrict the freedom and the movements of terror suspects when we know they are a threat, we have the evidence of that but don’t have the evidence to prosecute them in full in court and if the human rights laws don’t allow us to do that then we should change those so that we can.”
May has been criticised for her decision not to take part in televised leaders’ debates during the election campaign.
Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy said: “Huge lack of detailed scrutiny in this election. Debates didn’t allow sustained/detailed questioning. Interviews were few and mostly short. The only person to get almost half an hour with any of them was Andrew Neil.”
Picture: Channel 4 News / Twitter