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‘Defeatist’ Sunak and ‘robot’ Starmer: Grimsby audience members give their verdicts on leaders at Sky News event | Politics News

The prime minister seemed “defeated” to audience members in Grimsby after Sky’s Battle For Number Ten.

Some also questioned whether Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had fully answered the questions they asked.

The 90-minute TV grilling left the audience asking how the prime minister could fight back and win the election.

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Amy Green had travelled from Leeds to ask a question and said he seemed beaten.

“Sunak needs to drop the act, speak to us like an electorate as humans,” she said.

“I think he was quite defeatist – if I was fighting for my job, I would be out there socking it to people… he has given up and lost the will.”

Rishi Sunak addresses the audience in Grimsby. Pic: PA
Rishi Sunak addresses the audience in Grimsby. Pic: PA

She used to play a prominent role in her local Conservative Party but quit a few years ago.

She had started the night unsure of who to vote for and afterwards was still no closer to a decision.

“I am still undecided to be honest,” she added.

Grimsby resident Sharon Westerman asked the first question of the night to Sir Keir about inequality in her hometown.

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Starmer: ‘I was a toolmaker’s son’

She told Sky News she wasn’t 100% convinced by him, but thought he would become the next prime minister.

“I think Labour will get it, but there will be fierce competition from other candidates – it’s not just about Labour and Conservatives,” she said.

“There were some questions answered, but others such as the NHS and housing and child poverty we still need to know how it is going to be achieved.

“Not enough detail from both men.”

Christina Ashibogu had travelled to Grimsby from London. The lawyer had asked about rebuilding trust between the police and communities.

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In full: The Battle for Number 10

“I feel a bit bad for Rishi, he does look defeated… with Starmer, I wasn’t entirely impressed,” she told Sky News immediately after the event.

“Someone asked Starmer why he seems like a robot and he was startled by it.”

She thought it was the audience that actually came out on top: “We did well, when we weren’t satisfied with the answer people went back to try and get clarity.”

Retired teacher Ian Miles from Grimsby said the longer format really helped understand the two men better.

Read more:
What we learnt from Sunak and Starmer
Starmer performed best in Sky News event, poll suggests

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He too saw a prime minister who didn’t seem confident enough.

“After the D-Day disaster [when the prime minister departed early from commemorations] it’s like he doesn’t believe in himself anymore,” he said.

“For Keir Starmer, I think it’s a question of him not giving people enough to get people to be enthusiastic about him.”

Some left the Town Hall in Grimsby still undecided but agreed the Battle for Number Ten had challenged both leaders.

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