Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville stands his ground in confrontation with Jeremy Paxman
PUBLISHED: 12:24 16 November 2016 | UPDATED: 12:33 16 November 2016
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Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville held his own against former Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman, when the abrasive interviewer tried to insinuate he wasn’t in touch with his electorate.
The stand-off came as Paxman was being questioned at a special dinner to celebrate the end of excavations at what is thought to have been Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre – which will now be preserved as part of The Stage multi-million pound development in Shoreditch.
The mixed-use development will include luxury apartments and penthouses priced from £695,000.
Paxman, who spoke about Trump’s surprise win in the American presidential elections, said: “It matters how people feel and politicians need to understand that.
“When was the last time you were on someone’s doorstep and you said tell me what’s really bothering you?” he asked Mayor Glanville – who replied: “That’s the core of what we do.”
“That’s great. Well good for you,” said Paxman.
“It’s very unusual though. Normally you only see an MP when they are asking for your vote and telling you what they propose to do. This is no bloody use to anyone, and it’s one of the reasons I believe our democracy is in a poor state.”
Mayor Glanville pointed out to the audience, which was comprised of bankers, lawyers, property developers and council representatives: “We’ve got some of the lowest levels of employment we ever had, but we’ve still got that sense of malaise. There is a situation where house prices are not connected to wages, and that not all the opportunities coming to the borough are for local people.
“The house prices are not connecting. The narrative is you would have been able to afford your own home a few years ago.”
Paxman said: “I blame property developers, they are terrible people. They are happy to see property prices going up indefinitely.”
Paxman described how he had expected Clinton to “win big”.
“Trump’s victory is evidence of something I’ve known for a very long time which is we think America is like Britain because they speak the same language and in fact they’re bloody weird - they’re very, very odd indeed.”
He was asked by Jonathan Goldstein, chief executive officer of private investment firm Cain Hoy how Teresa May could take steps “to rule for the nation and not for the few”.
“Listen matey, I’m a journalist, I am not a politician nor am I a f****** clairvoyant, if I were I may have some answers for you,” he retorted.
“I am not disappointed with Teresa May yet. She’s a dull woman, but perhaps that’s what we need. I think that she is not been tested yet and she’s got a terrible job to do. She may bring it off.
“Personally I would like to see Teresa May and Angela Merkel go on a walking holiday in the Alps for a couple of weeks and sort out Europe between them.”
He labelled Cameron “the worst Prime Minster we have had in a very long time” for calling the referendum on the European Union.
“We should remember that when we try to write the history books,” he said.
“He called a referendum and said it was binding without any real precedent and failed then to make the argument for what he said he believed in - and then at the end of it, he said “That didn’t go according to plan, I’m off.”
Artefacts were on display which had been round during the excavation of the theatre included a bird whistle, thought to have potentially been used during a performance of Romeo and Juliet.