“X-Factor” voting challenge for Rishi
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BBC home editor Mark Easton put Rishi and the four other contestants on the spot with a series of questions around developing skills and talent watched by a big audience amid the gilt and red velvet splendour of the Royal Hall, Harrogate.
Mark, who is used to quizzing top politicians, compared the 20-minute challenge to TV's X-Factor because of the live vote at the end. Everyone in the audience was given a voting gizmo as they walked in and got the chance to press a button for the candidate who they thought put in the best performance.
Rishi was cool and confident when answering tough questions like: Why do you care about housing? What would you do if you were housing minister Grant Shapps? And what makes a great leader?
He was especially strong when answering the knotty question: Is it better for house prices to rise or fall? "A period of stability would be best," he said - prompting the BBC journalist to describe it as the politician's answer.
"Stability and the banks to start lending would enable more people to get into the housing market… we need different forms of tenure and home ownership that will act a stepping stones for people who want to own their homes. Flexibility must be there so that people can increase the share they own as their earnings increase - and go the other way if they get into financial problems."
Answering the question about great leadership, Rishi highlighted the need to create a great place to work, the importance of choosing a positive attitude and staying in touch with the front line.
Then came the live vote - and Rishi came through with a creditable third place. He is now looking forward to the next big challenge -Nobody gets us, why? - later today (Wednesday). He will then meet Grant Shapps at the presidential drinks reception and find out if he has made it into the last three and the closing day showdown.
You can view the latest 'uncut' video of our Rising Star Rishi at Harrogate on You Tube (opens new window).
The first part of the video shows Rishi as he went into the conference halls yesterday (Tuesday) morning. The second part captures Rishi after his nail-biting showdown with the other four finalists in a Fit for the Future question-and-answer session led by BBC home editor Mark Easton.
Visit the Inside Housing website (opens new window) to vote for Rishi.
Read previous related story - social housing must lose Shameless stigma, says Bromford's Rising Star.