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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lost on the Tyne

The Times reports that David Cameron has added to his membership of a growing list of politicians who have commited geographically based gaffes whilst being interviewed on local radio.

The paper says that after praising the thriving economy on Tyneside, the prime minister was corrected on his regional geography by BBC Radio Tees presenter Lisa McCormick, who asked if he was neglecting Teeside, 40 miles south:

Mr Cameron told listeners: “I was up on the Tyne recently and there are oil rigs being fabricated on the Tyne again, which is a great sign of manufacturing in our country; you see with investments like Hitachi, like Nissan, with the Tyne crossing and things like that, these will make a difference…

Ms McCormick interrupted. “You keep mentioning the River Tyne; that’s not our region Prime Minister,” she said. “I’m sorry, we’re the River Tees, does that mean you forget about us?”

A flustered Mr Cameron replied: “I’m sorry, I thought I was doing…” before telling listeners that the government was pumping £90 million into the Tees Valley.

Ms McCormick said that that “seems like a drop in the ocean” compared with the £470 million going into Greater Manchester and £440 million into the South East.

Previously, the Prime Minister has gaffed in a BBC Essex interview in Colchester, when he apologised for appearing to suggest he was in neighbouring Chelmsford.

In addition, Chuka Umunna, the shadow business secretary made a reference to Wichita, in the US state of Kansas, when he had meant to say Worcester, whilst Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, was caught out during the May election campaign when he hailed the leader of Swindon council - which is Conservative-led, but could not name the authority’s Labour leader.

There but for the grace of God go us all I suppose.
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