5 Days to go: Let's Nuke North Korea!


One thing we learned from last night’s Question Time is that people in Yorkshire are unusually fascinated by North Korea.

As a Lancastrian, it’s not for me to say anything about the potential similarities between the bleak, empty wasteland of Yorkshire, and North Korea.

Theresa May stumbled on whether her government’s been giving foreign aid to North Korea, while Jeremy Corbyn struggled with the question of whether he’d be willing to nuke Pyongyang.

Admittedly, it’s hard to see the circumstances in which the United Kingdom would launch a unilateral nuclear strike, but it seems to be an unusual preoccupation to the people of Yorkshire.

And the Labour leader stumbled badly on the issue. We all know Mr Corbyn will never approve the use of nuclear weapons, but he knows he can’t say it. It was one of the trickiest moments of Labour’s campaign.

The funny, light-hearted Jeremy Corbyn we’ve seen on the campaign trail this week didn’t make it into the Question Time studio.

Theresa May was stilted, but survived her encounter with York’s trigger-happy voters a little better than the Labour leader.

That doesn’t mean she didn’t have her own problems on social care, the public sector pay freeze and disability benefits. She fell back on her tired soundbites far too often.

And then there was North Korea. Had the UK been giving foreign aid to one of the world’s most repressive regimes. The Prime Minister didn’t seem entirely clear.

She’d already told the audience they should credit her with having “the balls” to call the election. They in turn asked why, in that case, she hadn’t bothered to take part in this week’s debate. Cue more soundbites.

Overall, you’d have to give it to Theresa May. Neither were spectacular, but Jeremy Corbyn had tougher moments, and really struggled on nuclear weapons.

Will it change many votes? Not really. But it could swing the tone of the campaign as it goes into the final weekend.

Labour supporters have been on a high this week, as polls narrowed and Mr Corbyn gained in confidence. But the Tories will go into the weekend seeing an opportunity to widen that gap in the campaign’s final days.

Meanwhile, in the spin room...

Laughs were in short supply last night. But you can always rely on Boris Johnson to be, erm, interesting...


pre-election episode online now.