Tory minister gets owned on BBC Question Time for not answering question

'The more and more I find myself disappointed in the quality of the answers we receive from our politicians.'

Question Time

A Tory minister was left red faced on BBC Question Time, after refusing to answer a pretty straightforward question.

The first question on the political programme asked whether there was “any way back for Boris Johnson” after his investigation by MPs into partygate. Johnson appeared before the Privileges Committee this week, where he tried to convince MPs that he did not deliberately mislead the House over lockdown parties in Downing Street. Johnson’s defence was that boozy leaving drinks were an essential pandemic activity.

After Tory MP Andrew Bowie trotted out a typical party line, one audience member was left fuming.

He said: “I struggle with the fact that the first speaker in this debate didn’t answer the question he was asked. With the greatest respect Minister, you were asked a very straightforward question and trolled out a party line which is nothing new.

“The Boris Johnson hearing yesterday was disappointing in my opinion in the history of this great country and our democracy, and more and more I find myself disappointed in the quality of the answers we receive from our politicians.

“I do believe that some of you are intelligent people … but I also believe more and more you take us for idiots and mugs. I would ask in the run up to a general election that you all consider the quality of the information you give to the voters rather than just trolling out party lines.”

He added: “Forget about how pleased you are that Rishi Sunak is in office and start thinking about doing what you’re there to do.”

Bowie was pressed three times on Johnson’s future by host Fiona Bruce, but the Tory MP said that the Johnson saga was a “soap opera” and would not provide an answer.

The audience member went on to add: “Don’t talk to me about a soap opera. Boris Johnson was given almost a quarter of a million pounds of public money to defend himself with the most expensive barrister in this country.

“So, you know, it’s absolutely outrageous that people sitting in this audience should they need legal aid might not be able to secure it. But Boris Johnson, a multi-millionaire wastrel, is given a quarter of a million pounds to defend himself. It’s a scandal.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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