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Britain's Green Party leader Natalie Bennett speaks during the party's general election campaign launch in central London
Britain's Green Party leader Natalie Bennett speaks during the party's general election campaign launch in London on Feb. 24, 2015.  Stefan Wermuth—Reuters

Witness This British Politician Crash and Burn in a Live Interview

Feb 24, 2015

A warning for anyone with a crippling fear of freezing up while public speaking or being interviewed: This gets awkward.

U.K. Green Party leader Natalie Bennett appeared on a London radio station Tuesday to unveil her party's manifesto ahead of the country's general election in May. Although the Green Party currently exists on the margins of national politics in the U.K., with just one elected member of parliament, it has big proposals to introduce a universal welfare payment or "citizen's income" of 72 pounds ($111) a week, and to build 500,000 public housing units.

The problem came when the interviewer, Nick Ferrari of London broadcaster LBC, asked how her party proposed to pay for all those new homes. Her answer—that it would remove tax breaks for private landlords—did not satisfy her interlocutor, who pressed the question as British interviewers tend to do. And that's when things began to get excruciating:

Ferrari: The cost of 500,000 homes, let's start with that. How much would that be?

Bennett: "Right, well, that's, erm... you've got a total cost... erm... that we're... that will be spelt out in our manifesto.

Ferrari: So you don't know?

Bennett: No, well, err.

Ferrari: You don't, ok. So you don't know how much those homes are going to cost, but the way it's going to be funded is mortgage relief from private landlords. How much is that worth?

Bennett: Right, well what we're looking at with the figures here. Erm, what we need to do is actually... uh......... we're looking at a total spend of £2.7... billion.

Ferrari: 500,000 homes, £2.7billion? What are they made of, plywood?

Bennett later apologized for suffering a "mind blank" during the LBC interview. "I am very happy to confess that and I am very sorry to the Green Party members who I did not do a very good job representing our policies on," she said. "That happens, I am human."

Listen to the entire interview here:

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