Jo Coburn was quick to dismantle Vicky Ford's economic claims
BBC presenter Jo Coburn didn’t hesitate to call out a Tory MP when she suggested the UK’s economic growth was better than most G7 countries.
Speaking shortly before chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled his autumn statement – meant to plug the £55 billion black hole in government finances – politicians were speculating what could be in the upcoming announcement.
Moments before Hunt’s speech to the Commons began, Vicky Ford, Conservative MP for Chelmsford and a foreign minister during Liz Truss’s brief premiership, then suggested that the UK’s economy was doing well.
She said the country’s economic struggles are “caused by global pressures”.
Ford continued: “Actually the UK is better off with our growth numbers than France, Germany, Italy, US, Japan, Canada – do you want me to continue?”
Coburn, while presenting Politics Live, then jumped in: ″We’re going to show, just before we let you you go, this graph, which actually stands in stark contrast to what you just said, Vicky Ford.
″Economic growth since Covid-19 – I will tell you the figures of G7 countries. United States at the top there, 4.2%, and the United Kingdom at the very bottom behind Canada, Italy, France, Japan and Germany, at -0.4%.”
Ford then added: “And the IMF [International Monetary Fund] is forecasting that this year we will be ahead of all the others. We have to look forward, we have to have fiscal stability in this budget.”
Back in April, the IMF predicted the UK GDP growth would be the weakest out of the whole G7.
In October, it published new forecasts for the world economy and downgraded 2023 growth for many countries due to high inflation.
The IMF forecast that UK GDP would grow by 3.6% for 2022, and 0.3% for 2023 (a reduction of 0.5% at the time of the previous forecasts from July).
Coburn corrected Ford again, noting: “Just to reiterate, those are the figures we have since Covid-19, and it stands at -0.4%.”
Plenty of people were quick to criticise her claims on Twitter, too.
— Patrick Smyth (@PatrickSmyth) November 17, 2022
If this happened to me I would simply sink into the ground and never appear in public again pic.twitter.com/XCtAZlhWqZ
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) November 17, 2022
I’m very proud of Tory MP Vicky Ford for being so utterly unconcerned about being caught out in a gigantic lie.pic.twitter.com/7I5ULqIujG
— Parody Rishi Sunak (@Parody_PM) November 17, 2022
Nothing better than seeing a Tory MP being debunked live on air. https://t.co/o4RwQtk89b
— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) November 17, 2022
During his statement, Hunt acknowledged, for the first time, that the UK was officially in a recession.
The Bank of England has previously predicted that the UK will be in a long period of negative economic growth lasting up until 2024.