Press Centre


  • Episode:


  • Transmission (TX):

    Wed 02 Oct 2019

  • TX Confirmed


  • Time

    10.45pm - 11.45pm

  • Week:

    Week 40 2019 : Sat 28 Sep - Fri 04 Oct

  • Channel:


  • Published:

    Tue 17 Sep 2019


Robert Peston brings his political magazine show to Wednesday nights to provide viewers with an fresh, intelligent and lively perspective on the big matters of the day.

Promising a stellar line-up of guests from across the political spectrum as well as cultural figures, Peston will feature major interviews with Westminster heavy hitters, topical guests and the very latest political gossip from inside the bubble.

Co-presenter Anushka Asthana will help Peston fuel the conversation in the studio and online, with updates from social media taking in perspectives from viewers, experts and key-players throughout the programme.

Top lines: Please credit ITV’s Peston with any usage of quotes

Speaking in a pre-recorded interview on Peston, aired at 10.45pm, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, asked whether he believed Boris Johnson’s new deal would get through Parliament, said: 

“I think it’s got a very good chance of getting through… The DUP are as you mentioned earlier a supporter of it, they didn’t support any of the previous three attempts to get a deal, I know that some Conservative MPs who were unhappy with the withdrawal agreement, that Theresa negotiated, have said that they’re supportive of this deal, so we have the DUP, Conservatives who were previously opposed, and some broad-minded and constructive Labour MPs. That seems to me to be a pretty solid majority.”

Asked given the circumstances, he believed we could leave the EU without a deal on October 31, Mr Gove said: 


Asked by Peston about Prince Harry’s attack on the tabloid media, he said: “The key thing I think is that the best thing for me, just as a government minister, is to recognise that there are two very important principles here. One that we respect the freedom of the press, but the other important principle is that we also recognise that someone in public life, Prince Harry, who has suffered a great deal, he deserves our dignity and our respect.”

Mr Gove also insisted the government had made major concessions in the PM’s new deal. He said: “This proposal is a serious attempt to ensure that we can meet the EU where we need to, and there are some big concessions in it. We are accepting that in Northern ireland, providing there’s democratic consent, that there’ll be European rules on food and manufacturing goods, you know that is quite a big concession. And I think that a serious amount of people in the EU recognise that’s a concession and something which they can get their teeth into.”

Asked by co-presenter Anushka Asthana on the programme’s live stream on Twitter during a break what he thought of the complaint and the behaviour of the BBC around Naga Munchetty, he said: “Well I think she was asked a question by her co-presenter, she spoke honestly, I don’t think anyone should be penalised for being honest.”

Asked in the Twitter break what percentage he thought there was of getting a Brexit deal, he said: “99.”

Labour MP Melanie Onn, asked if she were to be confronted in the days before Brexit with Mr Johnson’s kind of deal, or no deal, said: “If I’m confronted between this deal and a no-deal Brexit then I will vote for a deal.”

Asked if she believed it would come to that, she said: “I think that it will, because I think that Boris Johnson doesn’t seem to be taking the Benn bill particularly seriously, I don’t think that he wants to extend to secure and guarantee a good deal. I think that he will drive us towards a no deal Brexit at the end of the month.”

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, speaking in a pre-recorded interview, asked what the stumbling blocks to the opposition parties uniting to call for a general election are, and why they might be reluctant to do so, said: 

“I start to worry or wonder if other opposition parties really want a general election, but I don’t know the answer to that question. But what I do know is that if we are serious and I am very serious about wanting to explore all options to avoid a no-deal Brexit because as First Minister of Scotland right now I am spending a considerable amount of time planning to try to mitigate the implications of a no-deal Brexit and I know how horrendous the whole thing would be. So I’m prepared to put aside my own party political interests in the short-term, to compromise, to look at options, and I think if everybody in the opposition parties has that same attitude we should be able to come together…”

Talking about why she wasn’t calling for a second referendum before an election, along with the ramifications of a potential caretaker government, she said: “If a government, a caretaker government was to be in office for the few months that it would require to legislate for and allow a referendum, it will have to govern as well. It would have to probably put through a budget, it would have to deal with issues that cropped up, it would have to take other decisions, and I think practically it’s much harder to see how agreement around that kind of government initially and also to sustain that kind of government for any period of time would be possible.”

Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon, asked if his party was risking a no deal Brexit by pushing for Jeremy Corbyn to be a caretaker Prime Minister, said: 

“The obstacle to that, at the moment and I do hope they will reconsider, the obstacle to that at the moment is the Liberal Democrats.”

Fellow guest, Lib Dem MP Sarah Wollaston MP responded: “You’re still 50 short, I mean I’ve Tweeted a link to the numbers, the first rule of politics is being able to count - you’re still 50 adrift even if the Liberal Democrats abstained, and that’s the truth of it.”

When Peston suggested the rebel Tories would not support Labour, he said: “I think the right way forward is a caretaker Prime Minister solely for the purpose, Jeremy Corbyn, solely for the purpose of securing the extension if Boris Johnson won’t get it, and calling a general election.”

Asked why it couldn’t be Ken Clarke or Margaret Beckett, if they could get the numbers, he said: “Well they can’t, it’s pure fantasy…  The reality is, the Labour figure who will get the most votes in the Labour Party obviously and across the House, is Jeremy Corbyn. The rest, to be honest, is simply ludicrous.”

Joining Robert Peston and Anushka Asthana on Wednesday 2nd October 2019:

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove MP

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon MSP

Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon MP. 

Plus Labour's Melanie Onn MP, the Conservatives' John Whittingdale MP and the Liberal Democrat's Sarah Wollaston MP.