Rishi Sunak in blazing pensions row with Janet Street-Porter on Loose Women | Politics | News

Rishi Sunak was confronted with a furious Janet Street-Porter on Loose Women this lunchtime, as the Prime Minister was accused of “hating pensioners” after the recent Budget.

The top presenter fumed: “I want to ask you a very simple question: I think you’re a decent man, and work really hard, I think your heart’s in the right place, but why do you hate pensioners?”

The claim sparked huge applause from the audience, as Mr Sunak tried to laugh off the allegation.

While Ms Street-Porter said her statement was the “only conclusion she can come to because of the Spring Budget”, the Prime Minister launched a furious defence of his record on supporting pensioners, as well as the longer-term Conservative success of introducing and maintaining the Triple Lock.

Mr Sunak won back some audience support when arguing he “cares deeply about pensioners because I believe in a country where, if you work hard all your life, you should have the dignity and respect that you reserve in retirement. That’s really important to me personally”.

He also argued out that while the recent Budget’s National Insurance cuts didn’t affect pensioners, the party has a record to be proud of when it comes to older voters.

“It was a Conservative Government that introduced the Triple Lock, to make sure that pensions go up by the highest of either inflation, earnings or 2.5 percent.

“A lot of people criticise us for that, but we’ve protected it, and that means that the state pension has gone up by £900!”

The top TV presenter cut him off at this point, hitting back that the cost of living is also up significantly and pointing out the huge amount of pension credit that goes unclaimed each other, accusing the Government of a communications failure over the essential financial lifeline.

Mr Sunak also pointed out that all pensioners over winter received double Winter Fuel Payments without having to apply for the help, giving them an extra £300 to help cover hugely inflated energy costs.

He refused to apologise for focusing the Spring Budget on working people, and cutting £900 off National Insurance, launching a passionate defence of the Tories’ recent tax cut.

“You say you don’t care about the National Insurance, but for the 30 million people who are working I think it’s important to support them as well!”

Among a wide-ranging Loose Women interview, Mr Sunak expressed regret about not being able to dedicate as much time to being a father and a husband as he’d like due to the time constraints of the job.

Mr Sunak touchingly said: “I was very fortunate to be raised in a very loving tight-nit family, and not being able to be as good a dad, as good a husband as I would like to be weighs very heavily on the mind”.

In a political exclusive, the Loose Women managed to force a commitment from Mr Sunak that he will continue as the MP for Richmond Yorks in North Yorkshire should his party lose the election.

The ITV presenters failed, however, to get him to commit fully to a November General Election.

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