Broadcast legend Alastair Stewart shares verdict on political leaders debate - 'Sunak came out fighting!'

Broadcast legend Alastair Stewart shares verdict on political leaders debate - 'Sunak came out fighting!'

Broadcast LEGEND Alastair Stewart shares verdict on political leaders debate

GB News
Gabrielle Wilde

By Gabrielle Wilde

Published: 05/06/2024

- 18:44

Updated: 06/06/2024

- 07:48

The long-awaited Sunak vs Starmer debate took place last night

Broadcasting legend Alastair Stewart has shared his verdict on the head-to-head political debate that took place last night.

This comes after the long-awaited debate took place this evening where Labour leader Keir Starmer and current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak locked horns over several key issues including taxes, NHS and immigration.

Back in 2010, Stewart moderated the first-ever United Kingdom political leaders' debates between the prime minister candidates in the General Election.

Speaking to Martin Daubney on GB News, Stewart said: "I think that the Prime Minister came out fighting. The thing that struck me as I sat at home watching it was that he did not look like the guy who was 25 per cent behind in the polls and Sir Keir is the guy who is set for the biggest landslide since Tony Blair.

Alastair Stewart

Stewart praised Rishi Sunak's performance

GB News

"I thought that Rishi looked confident, was fleet of foot and gave as good as he got. I thought Sir Keir, as I predicted, looked nervous, lawyer-like and lacking any charisma.

"So I think that it was a victory as the polling has suggested for Rishi Sunak."


In the debate, the Prime Minister repeatedly claimed a Labour Government would mean £2,000 in tax rises per working household.

The Labour leader said Sunak "knew he was lying" when he made the claim and insisted Labour would not bring in tax rises for "working people".

Speaking about this, Stewart said: "We got quite close to the ideology of the thing last night and the Institute of Fiscal Studies, which is entirely impartial, has said whoever wins the general election is going to have to look at the level of taxation if they are going to keep the size of the state and the level of social services the same.

"Whoever is in power is probably going to have to put taxes up. So, if Sir Keir is saying no we won't have to put any taxes up at all, and Rachel Reeves tried to say that earlier as well, Rishi Sunak is saying that there will be no change in tax at all I suspect that that is the area that we need to have a discussion about.

Keir Starmer and Rishi SunakKeir Starmer and Rishi Sunak speak on stage during the first head-to-head debate of the General ElectionGetty

"But as Buckland said, and as Reform UK have said throughout the real debate as well, is the size of the state, what the government tries to do for us and on our behalf for the welfare state and the NHS that is what tax is all about. And we didn't get that last night, but we got quite close to it."

Having chaired the first-ever political debate himself, Stewart also commented on Julie Etchingham's running of the head-to-head.

He said: "I thought Julie did okay. I think her problem was the format."

He added: "The format let her down because them talking over each other is what debates about.

Alastair Stewart,

Alastair Stewart chaired the first ever debate between political leaders

GB News

"If you go to a real debate, whether it's at school or university, that's what people do.

"What we were crying out for was the audience. The best bit on television last night was Patrick Christy's Post Mortem programme, where he had a dozen people who'd sat and listened carefully to it as members of the audience.

"They got a real debate going about the big issues and about what was at stake in this General Election."

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