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Rishi Sunak makes history for ITV’s Loose Women


Rishi Sunak makes history for ITV’s Loose Women

History was made today on Loose Women as it was the first time a serving Prime Minister has ever appeared on the daytime panel show in its 25 year history.

Rishi Sunak, who appeared alongside Kaye Adams, Janet Street Porter, Judi Love and Jane Moore, spoke about the new sex education policy and poverty, and also spoke openly about family life.

Opening the show, Rishi holding a personalised branded Loose Woman mug said, “I’m very excited about this mug!”

When asked if he was a fan of Loose Women, he smiled, “I’ll be totally honest, it’s on occasionally at the back of the office and there’s familiarity with it, and I’ve done a lot of things in this job but being here is probably on the more intimidating end! Hopefully I’ll survive! You’d think I’d be used to it as I have a family of girls, even our dog is a girl, so in one sense I ought to be OK with this…”

On the new guidance around sex education in schools, Rishi said, “First thing to say is I have two young girls who are 11 and 13 and it’s something we’ve been going through as parents. What was important to me is we should let kids be kids and what worried me was parents were not being allowed to know what was happening with their kids when it came to these sensitive subjects.

“They were being exposed to things which you think ‘hang on, is that really the right age when they should be told certain things’ so that’s where I came at it from. We are doing things on the internet, we are removing harmful content, but when it comes to those things, there’s a couple of simple principles that I think are common sense – parents should be allowed to know what their kids are being taught in schools.

“So we are making it crystal clear that parents can see these things and the second thing is a system of age ‘ratings’ in the same way we take kids to the films… and it’s the same with these very sensitive subjects and making sure we are doing that in an age appropriate way.”

He added, “Every parent is different, and will do things in their own way. None of this stuff is easy, I know that, but I do think we should try and support parents through that and I think most parents want to know what their kids are being taught and know that it’s happening at an appropriate time in their development. Letting them have their childhood.”

“At the end of the day, parents must be allowed to know what’s going on, a system of age ‘ratings’ formed by expert advice about what’s appropriate and then making sure we teach kids the facts, sex and biology, that’s important.”

When later quizzed on antisocial behaviour, gun crime being higher than it ever was, knife crime, people living in homes that have damp in social housing, NHS workers right now having to queue to go to food banks, and how he was going to do something to make a change to this. Rishi responded by saying,

“We are making that change already on social media. We passed a law called the Online Safety Act last year. Right now the regulator Ofcom is going through, and it’s specifying exactly what is permissible and not permissible, and what the bill does is give the regulator the power to fine these big tech companies an enormous amount, if they don’t comply with the new rules that are published and making sure that kids aren’t exposed to harmful content about self harm, eating disorders…”

When pushed on the state of poverty in this country, Rishi replied, “Financial security is something I was talking about on Monday – probably the most acute concern that people have is their financial security. And look, we’ve been through a really tough time. A pandemic, war in Ukraine and energy bills, none of this has been easy for anybody. So what we’ve done during that time is continually provide support to people – and you saw that with me during the pandemic and furlough. We stepped in to provide that support. We did the same with energy bills… And then more recently, what we’ve done is make sure that our welfare system is working, benefits, and for those people who are in work, that you talked about how we’ve delivered a big tax cut, which will put more money in their account every month.”

Janet asked why he ‘hated pensioners’. He responded:

“Janet, I care deeply about pensioners, because I also believe in a country where if you work hard all your life, then you should have the dignity and respect that you deserve in retirement. Again, you talk about how I was raised, that’s really important to me personally, and as a sidebar to that, I’ve been working really hard to make sure this is one of the best countries in the world to be a veteran, because I think that’s something that we need to make real.

“And I’m really pleased that we’ve made progress. But so what are we doing for pensioners? Well, it was the Conservative government that introduced the triple lock, to ensure that pensions go up by the highest of either earnings prices, or two and a half percent. You know, lots of people criticise us for that. That means that the state pension right now, it’s just gone up by £900.”

When asked if he ever thinks ‘is this job worth it?’ Rishi laughed, “It’s an enormous privilege to do this job.”

Loose Women airs weekdays from 12:30pm on ITV1, STV, ITVX and STV Player

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