Regular readers will remember that Rachel Reeves told a meeting of ‘Christians on the Left’ that:
‘It will be much better if we can say that all of the changes that the Government have introduced we can reverse and all benefits can be universal.’
After Guido reported the comment back in March, Reeves went out of her way not to deny the quote when it was raised in the Commons by Mark Harper. Yesterday, during an exchange with IDS, she changed tact and flatly denied ever saying it:
IDS: A little while ago, in March, she is recorded as having said that, left to her, “all the changes that the Government has introduced” in welfare reform would be reversed “and all benefits” could be and should be “universal”. She has been asked this question before. It was a quote. I will give way to her if she wants to deny it.
Rachel Reeves indicated dissent.
IDS: There we have it—we now know what the policy is.
RR: The right hon. Gentleman did not read out a quote and I deny what he said.
IDS: I have to say to the hon. Lady that it is reported that she said that “all changes that the Government has introduced” in welfare could be reversed and “all benefits can be universal”. That is what she is quoted as saying. I will send her the quote if she likes. This is important.
RR: As I said, what the right hon. Gentleman read out is not a quote of what I said and I deny that that is my view.
Well guess what? There’s a tape, Rachel. Watch the video above to hear Rachel say the exact quote. She told the house she did not say it would be better if all benefits were universal, when she clearly did. Labour should realise there is always a tape these days.