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Andrew Marr: I'd pay good money to see Mick Lynch go nose-to-nose with the PM
22 June 2022, 18:33
Andrew Marr said he would pay "good money" for ringside seats if Mick Lynch and Boris Johnson were ever to "go nose-to-nose" over strikes, and criticised Keir Starmer's leadership.
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Andrew spoke as rail strikes brought the majority of Britain's train network grinding to a halt, disrupting commuters in a dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
Opening Wednesday's Tonight with Andrew Marr episode, on LBC, he said: "So prime ministers questions usually a tad stagy and don't tell anyone even boring but not today, today it all got a bit tasty."
He described the Prime Minister as "going the full Johnson" adding: "Keir Starmer however, sometimes sounds as if he doesn't quite mean it, but he sounded like he meant it today.
"It was almost as if they both thought they had an audience, a real audience, not the farm yard tribute band sitting on the benches around them. And of course you are way ahead of me already aren’t you.
"The audience is the electorate, particularly in Wakefield and Tiverton where there are by-elections coming tomorrow.
"Things are getting real, and they are going to get a lot more real over the summer if these strikes spread. I’ll be talking about that later.
Read more: 'I've had it up to here with this Labour government!' Marr on rail strikes 'blame game'
"It’s even possible that this is the issue that could allow Boris Johnson, despite everything to fight and to win the next general election.
"Let me explain, there is no evidence yet that the public is widely against these strikes and an opinion poll out tonight shows 35 per cent in favour 35 per cent against.
"But these are early days and opinions can swing fast, the more unions get involved the stronger the labour connection.
"Johnson is constantly looking for issues to skewer the Labour Party and to stop fellow Tory MP’s trying to chuck him out the nearest window.
"The worse things get, the angrier the country gets, the more he will be hinting I promise you about calling an early general election.
"Now there are good Tory arguments against going early the most important one is because constituencies are being redrawn, if Johnson waits until after December 2023 he will effectively be defending not a majority of 80 as he is now but of I am told 102.
"That is worth having. Also the Tory’s are nowhere near ready in choosing their candidates.
"But all that said if Johnson thinks he is going to win then he might as well go anyway, and even if he doesn’t merely hinting that he is about to is a very effective way of stopping nervous nelly Tory MP’s trying to do him in.
"A snap election is the type of threat he can pull out and wave over their heads whenever he needs to. So friends I think all of that explains what happened this afternoon.
"Why Johnson sounded as if he had had a cup of cooking brandy on his cornflakes and why Starmer, who I am sure has cottoned on to this, sounded like a fired up political leader not a disappointed lawyer is a quite county court.
"One final thing I have to say, the most effective political communication in the country the last two days is neither of the above.
"It’s the fire brand RMT leader Mick Lynch, watching him calmly doing over various critics he sounds like a working class natural. I would pay good money to see him and Boris Johnson nose to nose."