Rishi Sunak was grilled on why he ‘hates pensioners’ and his own sex education today as he appeared on ITV’s Loose Women.

The PM came under heavy fire from the panel, including Janet Street-Porter, as he tries to get the Tory message to a wider audience.

Mr Sunak was the first serving premier to appear on the lunchtime magazine show, and he defended new guidance on teaching sex education and gender in schools. 

Draft statutory guidance for England states that sex education should be taught no earlier than year five, when pupils are aged nine, and that what is described as the ‘contested topic of gender identity’ should not be taught at all.

But asked how he personally had learned about sex when he was a youth, Mr Sunak, 44, insisted he could not remember. 

At one point Ms Street-Porter pointed to the fact national insurance had been cut instead of tax, demanding: ‘Why do you hate pensioners?’

Rishi Sunak braved questioning from the panel, including Janet Street-Porter, as he tries to get the Tory message to a wider audience

Rishi Sunak braved questioning from the panel, including Janet Street-Porter, as he tries to get the Tory message to a wider audience

Mr Sunak was the first serving premier to appear on the lunchtime magazine show, and he defended new guidance on teaching sex education and gender in schools.

Mr Sunak was the first serving premier to appear on the lunchtime magazine show, and he defended new guidance on teaching sex education and gender in schools.

Mr Sunak responded that the triple lock had seen a huge rise in the state pension this year. 

‘Janet, I care deeply about pensioners, because I also believe in a country where if you work hard all your life, then you should have the dignity and respect that you deserve in retirement,’ he said.

‘So what are we doing for pensioners? Well, it was the Conservative government that introduced the triple lock, to ensure that pensions go up by the highest of either earnings prices, or two and a half percent. You know, lots of people criticise us for that. That means that the state pension right now, it’s just gone up by £900.’

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Ms Street Porter replied: ‘So has the cost of basic living. And also, sorry to talk over you, you have supplied pension credits, but there are so many people who have never claimed them. So your government or your civil servants or whatever, have got a communication problem, because £2.4 billion was unclaimed.’

The PM shot back: ‘So what we did over winter, all pensioners received double their winter fuel payment, they didn’t have to apply for it, they were just given it, right. And that doubles up to £300 extra over the winter to help with energy bills, the state pension has gone up by £900, far greater than inflation and prices are rising. Thankfully, we’ve got inflation down now.’

The other members of the Loose Women panel were Judy Love, Jane Moore and Kaye Adams. 

The premier admitted that he regretted the strains of being in No10 meant he was ‘not able to be as good a dad’ as he wanted.

But he dismissed the idea that if he loses the election he will quit Parliament and move to the US, saying: ‘Of course I’m staying, I love being an MP.’ 

There was laughter from the audience as Mr Sunak acknowledged that he was not a regular viewer of Loose Women. ‘I’ve done a lot of things in this job, but being here is probably on the more intimidating end,’ he said. 

But asked how he personally had learned about sex when he was a youth, Mr Sunak, 44, insisted he could not remember.

But asked how he personally had learned about sex when he was a youth, Mr Sunak, 44, insisted he could not remember.

Mr Sunak said he wife Akshata have two daughters aged 11 and 13, so sex education discussions were ‘something we’ve been going through as parents’. 

He dodged when asked what he had known about sex when he was 13. 

‘When I think about it I can’t quite remember when I went through exactly that period,’ he said.

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Pressed on whether he had been given information from parents or learned from ‘leaflets’, Mr Sunak said: ‘I am an older kid… trying to think… probably a mix of things actually.’ 

He then moved on to stress that things are ‘very different now’, pointing to access to sexual material and debate over gender identity.

‘I don’t remember that being an issue when I was younger,’ he said.

Mr Sunak followed in the footsteps of other politicians who have appeared including Nicola Sturgeon – who has been on three times – and Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner.

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