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…