Theresa May was left squirming this morning after an attempt to attack Labour on the economy backfired spectacularly.
And the Prime Minister revealed she doesn’t know what the average UK salary is, getting the figure wrong by more than £1,000 a year.
It came during a car-crash interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr, as she scrambled to cling on to her leadership.
In an ill-advised attack line, Mrs May said: “At the Labour party conference, the Labour party themselves recognised that they would wreck our economy. They can’t deliver.”
Marr said: “I don’t remember that speech.”
Mrs May insisted: “Run on the pound? Run on the pound from Labour? That’s what they said a Labour party would mean in this country.”
She was referring to an admission by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who said Labour was “war-gaming” potential outcomes of Labour taking power, one of which was a run on the pound.
In the first of a string of wounding blows to the Prime Minister in what turned quickly into a classic car crash interview, Marr asked her: “What’s happened to the pound on your watch?”
Flustered, Mrs May said: “The pound…fluctuates, but…”
Marr said: “It goes down and down and down. It’s worth a lot less than it was.”
The PM spluttered: “The…what…do you know what a…run on the pound, Andrew, it means people queuing up to take their money out of the, er, out of banks. It means people really worried about their futures. That’s what a run on the pound would do.
“It means an economy that’s going into free fall. That’s what Labour would do.”
Marr pointed out: “Meanwhile, the economy on your watch is the slowest growing economy in Europe.”
Marr went on to ask the Prime Minister “roughly speaking” what the average UK wage is.
She replied: “Well, the…the…the..average wage, the average earnings are around the £25,000 a year figure.”
Marr corrected her, saying it is around £505 a week, which adds up to £26,250 a year.
Asked if it had gone up or down on her watch, Mrs May again scrambled for an answer, before admitting: “Well, what we’ve seen recently is inflation has gone up and people are feeling the squeeze on their incomes.”
Elsewhere in the disastrous interview, Mrs May was forced to watch the excruciating moment from the campaign, where after performing a screeching u-turn on the dementia tax , she insisted “nothing has changed.”
Marr confronted the Prime Minister after she swerved questions over whether she was wrong to let uni tuition fees soar above £9,000 a year.
He asked her: “Wouldn’t you be better off just looking people in the eye and telling them the truth?”
Mrs May today kicked off the Conservative Party Conference by freezing fees at £9,250, raising the repayment threshold and mounting a review of the system. But she refused to say directly whether the rises had been wrong.
Instead she simply said: “We’d expected some universities to charge less than the maximum and they’re not.”