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August 10, 2022updated 07 Oct 2022 7:12am

TalkTV’s Tom Newton Dunn tells Liz Truss attacks on media are ‘cheap’

By PA Media and Press Gazette

TalkTV journalist Tom Newton Dunn told Conservative leadership contender Liz Truss her attacks on the media were “cheap” following Tuesday’s hustings event.

Truss appeared to attack the media several times during the hustings in Darlington and was caught on mic apologising to Newton Dunn, who hosted the event, as it ended.

The Foreign Secretary accused “some of the media” of trying to “talk our country down” and accused journalists – including ex-Sun political editor Newton Dunn – of framing questions in a “left-wing way”.

Newton Dunn was asking the South West Norfolk MP about her plans to help people with rising energy bills using tax cuts when he mentioned “your handouts” as he sought to pose a question.

Truss interrupted, saying: “They are not giveaways Tom. This is people’s money, but this is the problem with the way that every question is framed.”

She added: “You’re framing it in a left-wing way Tom. I’m afraid the whole media does this all the time… it drives me mad.”

Truss was later asked if Boris Johnson’s downfall as Prime Minister was of his own making, or someone else’s.

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Some audience members shouted out saying it was the “media”.

[Boris Johnson resigns: The scoops that brought down the Prime Minister]

Truss said: “Sounds like you’re being blamed Tom and, you know, who am I to disagree with this excellent audience?”

Asked to clarify her view, she outlined that she was a “loyal Cabinet minister”, but did not directly answer the question, saying “what is done is done and we are where we are”.

Later, talking about spending commitments and her plans, Truss said: “I believe in Britain, unlike some of the media who choose to talk our country down.”

Newton Dunn replied: “For the record, that’s the third time you’ve attacked the media – a lot of which supports your campaign.” The Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and Daily Express have all formally endorsed Truss to their readers in the leadership contest.

As she hugged the host of the hustings at the end of the event, Truss could be heard to say: “I am sorry I was mean about the media, Tom.”

Newton Dunn could be heard to reply that the jibes about the media were “cheap and you know it”.

Tuesday’s event was TalkTV’s second leadership event, coming two weeks after host Kate McCann fainted halfway through the previous head-to-head event at News UK’s Ealing studio. Newton Dunn was on holiday at the time and could not step in, while original co-host and Sun political editor Harry Cole had pulled out on the day due to a positive Covid-19 test.

Picture: PA Wire/Danny Lawson

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