What not to say in an interview – a quick guide for MPs

April 29, 2013 4:17 pm

Tory MP Amber Rudd was interviewed by the FT today about what it’s like to have a small majority (she’s only 1,993 ahead of Labour in Hastings). Unfortunately for Amber, she took the opportunity to commit some significant political gaffes.

So as a public service to Amber – and other MPs – here’s a quick guide on what not to say in an interview.

When asked why you chose to stand for a seat you have no links to, and there’s a concern your constituents might thing you’re a newcomer who doesn’t care about the local area, don’t copy Amber and say:

“I wanted to be within two hours of London and I could see we were going to win it.”

When talking about your constituency – and your constituents – don’t compound the error by making it sound like a bleak hellhole, like Amber did:

“You get people who are on benefits, who prefer to be on benefits by the seaside. They’re not moving down here to get a job, they’re moving down here to have easier access to friends and drugs and drink.”

And when you’re asked about how gay marriage might have an impact on the General Election, try to avoid Amber’s mistake of getting specific (however true it might be):

“When it comes to a general election, I really don’t think they’ll still be thinking about anal sex,”

And of course always – always – stay upbeat about your chances of victory, unlike Amber, who said:

“If the worst comes to the worst, it’s been a great five years.”

With interviews like this, you can see why she might be thinking of the worst…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715486331 Alex Otley

    Fail.

  • http://twitter.com/Ceilidhann Kayleigh Anne

    Those are the words of a figure who has given up. I kind of want her to go down in a blaze of glory now. Come on, Amber, don’t stop talking!

  • kb32904

    ROFL !

  • http://twitter.com/waterwards dave stone

    “I wanted to be within two hours of London… ”

    Reminded me of O’Farrell’s refusal to live in Eastleigh. But at least they were being honest and honesty is always better than spin.

  • NT86

    Armando Iannucci wishes that The Thick of It was still in production. The line about anal warrants a collective *facepalm* from everyone who read that interview.

    I bet some swing voters in Hastings who’ve read this are starting to regret voting out Michael Foster in favour of Amber Rudd. Vaguely reminiscent of Louise Mensch’s seeming disinterest for her former constituency.

  • Monkey_Bach

    Does Amber have Tourette syndrome by any chance? Eeek.

  • http://twitter.com/bencobley Ben Cobley

    I think I rather like her, but then I’ve never been a big fan of party lines. I especially like: “When it comes to a general election, I really don’t think they’ll still be thinking about anal sex.”

  • Quiet_Sceptic

    And her brother was an adviser to Tony Blair – small world!
    I wouldn’t dismiss her comments – what not to say depends on who you’re trying to appeal to. She’s not trying to appeal to intellectual Lefty types or your typical Labour voter, she’s probably concerned about loosing her core vote to UKIP.

    • http://twitter.com/waterwards dave stone

      Yes, it is a small world. According to wiki her brother, a PR executive, is advising Ed on ‘business’. Also, Amber worked for J.P Morgan after leaving university – perhaps Blair will put in a word if she wants her old job back after 2015.

  • Alexwilliamz

    Who says politicians aren’t honest anymore. She may be wrong but at least she is saying what she thinks, what a refreshing change.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

    We have an excellent Labour candidate selected here, http://www.sarahowen.org.uk/labour/

  • JoeDM

    Oh dear, a politician who speaks her mind. We can’t have that !!!

    I rather admire her honesty.

    • Daniel Speight

      Possibly quaffing the champers a bit too much at the Conservative Club doncha think Joe?

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