Thursday, February 27, 2020

Fiona Bruce and Farage come to bitter blows on BBC QT over the Brexit leader’s career


Mr Farage was appearing on BBC One’s Question Time on Tuesday night, where he was subjected to a half hour grilling from the studio audience. The show was based in Peterborough, which voted by an overwhelming majority (60.9% vs 39.1%) to leave the EU. Mr Farage argued that the only motivation in setting up UKIP and then the Brexit Party was to put leaving the European Union on the political agenda.

He said in that respect he had been very successful and had profoundly influenced UK politics.

But he insisted that he had never dreamt of becoming a career politician at any stage in his life.

Ms Bruce immediately challenged him, reminding him that he had stood for parliament no fewer than seven times.

The Brexit Party leader interrupted her, saying it was only “once in reality”.

But the BBC presenter refused to cede, saying: “Let me finish, let me finish! You said in 2015 ‘It’s frankly just not credible for me to continue to lead the party without a Westminster seat of my own’.

“If that was the case in 2015, why is that not the case now?”

Mr Farage admitted that he bitterly regretted saying that, and had allowed himself to be “hunkered down” in one constituency.

He said: “I would say this to you. I have only once challenged for parliament seriously.

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Topics discussed included Brexit, the NHS and the economy, as well as anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

Before the two leaders clashed, 37 percent of Britons expected the Prime Minister to bash Mr Corbyn, with just 23 percent betting on Mr Corbyn to land the decisive blows.

However, in bad news for Mr Johnson, a snap poll taken from Twitter by ITV at the end of the evening revealed that Mr Corbyn won the debate.

The ITV poll found that 78 percent believed the Labour leader won tonight’s contest, against just 22 percent for Mr Johnson.

The poll received 26,886 votes in the 10 minutes after the proceedings concluded on Tuesday.

The official YouGov/Sky News post debate poll scores also found that 45 percent found Mr Corbyn trustworthy compared to 40 percent for Mr Johnson.

In total 54 percent of respondents found Mr Johnson prime ministerial and likeable, compared to 29 percent and 37 percent for Mr Corbyn’s strength in these attributes respectively.

However, 59 percent of people found that Mr Corbyn was in touch with ordinary people, compared to just 25 percent for Mr Johnson.

The latest poll from YouGov found the reverse however, with 51 percent of respondents supporting Mr Johnson and just 49 percent of voters thinking the Labour leader won the debate.

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