Nick Ferrari grills Thomas-Symonds as he forgets minimum wage
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Nick Thomas-Symonds appeared on LBC to talk about the Labour conference and the proposals for Labour to push for a £15-an-hour minimum wage if they are elected. The decision to push for a higher minimum wage has split Labour which caused a frontbencher to resign and several hard-left members attacking leader Sir Keir Starmer for protecting the wealthy. But LBC host Nick Ferrari had a simple question for Mr Thomas-Symonds to see if he knew what the current minimum wage was but embarrassingly he did not know the answer.
Frontbencher Andy McDonald resigned from the Labour Party over accusations he was not getting support over the £15-a-hour minimum wage being proposed by Labour.
Members will vote on the measure to choose whether the party should pursue the policy if they are elected into power.
But alleged disagreements among the leadership caused Mr McDonald to resign as he claimed Sir Keir Starmer was not backing the £15-a-hour motion despite campaigning for it in the past.
The leadership have said they do not want to be seen supporting or rejecting any proposals and wanted voters to make up their own minds.
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Mr Thomas-Symonds appeared on LBC to discuss the vote but things quickly unravelled after host Mr Ferrari grilled him on the current minimum wage.
He asked: “You know what the current minimum wage is now currently?”
Mr Thomas-Symonds sheepishly replied: “Yes, well, I would say… it’s certainly below £10… Nick, I don’t know off the top of my head.”
Mr Ferrari was shocked and again asked why push for a rise in the minimum wage when you do not know the current figure.
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The Labour shadow minister answered: “I’m telling you it would represent a 12 percent rise…”
He then conceded he did not know the figure before being told by Mr Ferrari it was £8.91 for people aged 23 and over.
Mr Ferrari continued his attack and said: “Your party leader, Sir Keir, as recently as 2019 was at a demonstration with McDonald’s workers.
“Where he was holding a banner fight for £15.
“So in two years he has taken the amount down, hasn’t he?”
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Mr Thomas-Symonds said Sir Keir was showing “solidarity” with those workers and said he could not commit to a minimum wage figure without knowing the economic situation.
Mr Ferrari argued Sir Keir committed to a figure when he marched with the fast-food workers but wondered, jokingly, if he only meant £15-a-hour would be given to them only.
He added it was “confusing” if the figure appeared to be picked from a hat.
Mr Thomas-Symonds added Labour could only give a figure once they were aware of the economic circumstances if they get elected.
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