Tory slammed over non-existent ‘meat tax’ claims made against Labour in awkward interview

Tory slammed over non-existent ‘meat tax’ claims made against Labour in awkward interview
Tory slammed over nonexistent ‘meat tax’ claims made against Labour
Sky News

Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary Claire Coutinho said she wanted to add a "light moment" in her speech as she referenced the 'meat tax' - which, in fact, doesn't exist.

Coutinho sat down with journalist Sophy Ridge on Sky News' Politics Hub, where she was quizzed on a part of her Conservative Party conference speech "that really struck" Ridge.

"'It's no wonder Labour seem so relaxed about taxing meat," Coutinho said in her speech. "Sir Keir Starmer doesn't eat it and Ed Miliband is clearly scarred by his encounter with the bacon sandwich".

Ridge asked: "You didn't write that, did you?"

"I did actually write that," Coutinho smirked. "I think it's good to have a light moment in your speech as well, but the point is actually very serious..."

Ridge proceeded to continuously ask the Net Zero secretary about the non-existent meat tax.

The clip was soon flooded to X/Twitter with many mocking Coutinho's remarks.

"You can see the Tory media training so clearly (and other parties do the same thing)," one wrote. "If an interviewer catches on something that is awkward for you then deflect, pivot, digress, talk faster, do anything except acknowledge in any way (including allowing a pause) the lie that you've been caught on."

"She repeatedly kept saying 'the point is…' before not making a single point," another noted, while a third joked: "Watching it on mute is also brilliant."

Last month, in an interview with the BBC, Rishi Sunak was challenged over several measures he claimed he was scrapping, including the possibility of taxes on meat and compulsory car sharing, after his former environment minister Lord Goldsmith accused him of "pretending to halt frightening proposals that simply do not exist".

The prime minister told Radio 4’s Today programme: "I reject that entirely."

"These are all things that have been raised by very credible people about ways to meet our net zero obligations," he said, but was unable to provide evidence they were specifically recommended by anyone.

He cited the Climate Change Committee as the source of general proposals to curb meat consumption, although it never recommended a so-called "meat tax".

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