BBC host grills Anneliese Dodds on Rishi Sunak attack and failure to make tough decisions

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Labour Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Anneliese Dodds was forced to defend her criticism of Rishi Sunak on the countries spending future. While speaking on the Today Programme with Nick Robinson, the host argued that the Labour Party looks like a party unable to make difficult decisions in a time of crisis. Ms Robinson insisted the party was able to do so and would continue to criticise the Government, most notably Rishi Sunak’s budget plan.

Mr Robinson said: “You will know that it is a bit of a cliched phrase ‘to govern is to choose’.

“Oppositions always do this, Tory and Labour but are you looking at a party that doesn’t want to choose.

“You oppose cuts, you don’t want to spell out tax rises, you hope borrowing can go on if interest rates are low.

“That simply won’t be possible if you become Chancellor, that you can do everything, at some time you will have to tell us what we can’t have.”

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Ms Dodds attempted to defend her criticisms of Rishi Sunak and the Government’s spending plan.

She said: “Well, of course, it is to choose and that is why I have been calling for the Chancellor to take responsible choices.

“Sometimes these choices won’t be easy and of course a few weeks ago I and other Labour colleagues were calling for a difficult choice.

“We were saying the UK should have adopted a circuit breaker and it should have done so over the half-term holiday and that would have meant we would have had a shorter period of lockdown.

“We called on Government to do that, that wasn’t an easy choice but it was the right choice looking at the scientific data and thinking about the economic impact of not doing that.

“Then we ended up with a much longer lockdown and it appears that will have had about a £12billion impact on our economy.”

Ms Dodds has faced criticism following her attack on Rishi Sunak for the Government’s decision to reduce foreign aid budget from 0.7 to 0.5 of GNI (Gross National Income) and pay freezes.

While speaking on Good Morning Britain (GMB) on Thursday Ms Dodds argued Mr Sunak should have offered more optimism going forward and not frozen salaries while cutting foreign aid.

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GMB host Susanna Reid argued back: “If you are a teacher or police officer and you’re going to see a cut in your income, can you not imagine that a number of those people are going to think it’s absolutely right unfortunately we can’t keep giving money in foreign aid when we can’t even reward those who have worked the hardest.

“As we know the NHS is excluded from the public sector pay freeze.

“The other public sector workers who have worked the hardest through the pandemic, if we can’t even give them a kind of boost.”

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