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Hunt attacks BBC on air & says host's portrayal of UK economy is unworthy'

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JEREMY Hunt attacked the BBC this morning for portraying a “pessimistic” picture of the British economy.

The Chancellor became embroiled in a spat with Today programme presenter Amol Rajan – accusing his coverage of being “unworthy” of the national broadcaster. 

Jeremy Hunt became embroiled in a spat with Amol Rajan

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Jeremy Hunt became embroiled in a spat with Amol RajanCredit: i-Images
Amol Rajan said the economy was "at best drifting, at worse stagnant"

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Amol Rajan said the economy was “at best drifting, at worse stagnant”Credit: Getty

They clashed live on air after Rajan suggested yesterday’s Budget had not “come even close” to fixing the country’s problems.

He said: “This is a country ravaged by economic shocks – at best drifting, at worse stagnant.

“We all know about its potential but we’ve had seven quarters of falling GDP that’s been revised downwards.

“Hooked on foreign labour, the birth rate is collapsing. Many public services are creaking, councils are going bust.

“Those are facts. Has your Budget really come even close to meeting the scale of the challenges this country faces?”

Mr Hunt insisted his plan was not about “quick fixes that unravel” but solutions for the “long term”.

He then swiped: “And by the way, I think the overall characterization that you’ve just given of the British economy is unworthy of the BBC, because we have grown faster…”

Rajan cut in to defend the Corporation, which he said comprised tens of thousands of employees, before stating: “There is no such thing as the BBC, and I’m quoting facts about this country which a lot of people feel.”

Hunt hit back: “Well it’s unworthy of you, Amol” before mounting a counter to his “pessimistic” presentation. 

The Office for Budget Responsibility said yesterday that inflation and interest rates will fall faster this year than predicted.

The public finances watchdog also confirmed yesterday that the UK was bouncing out of its short-lived recession and said that lower inflation and interest rates would “support a stronger recovery this year and next”.

The OBR now expects the economy to grow by 0.8 per cent, rather than 0.7 per cent, and forecasts growth next year will be 1.9 per cent, rather than 1.4 per cent. 

But it also warned jobless Brits were a major drag on the economy, and that net migration will settle at 315,000 in the long-term.

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