Last night five of the six remaining candidates in the Tory leadership contest gathered for a live debate on Channel 4 hosted by Krishnan Guru-Murthy. In theory, it was a chance for our next Prime Minister to show us the skills, poise and charisma that he (and yes, they’re all men) brings to the table. In practice, it was really just a chance for Rory Stewart to remind us that he’s the least terrible of a very terrible bunch.
1. Boris Johnson didn’t even turn up
Ordinarily, a no-show from BoJo would be a cause for celebration, but when the clear frontrunner opts not to take part in the first leadership debate, it can’t help but make it feel like a dry run for the BBC version on Tuesday night, which Johnson has said he will rock up for.
2. Dominic Raab was asked why he once called some feminists “obnoxious bigots”, and obviously couldn’t defend himself properly
His response? “Judge us by what we do, not just what we say.” Okay, Dom – we’ll judge you on your pretty grim voting record on laws designed to promote equality and human rights.
3. Michael Gove kept trying (and failing) to seem human.
“There is treasure in the heart of every man and woman,” Gove told us at one point. Ugh. He also kept banging on about “the children”, but thankfully just about stopped short of quoting Whitney Houston and proclaiming: “I believe that children are our future.” As Labour MP Lisa Nancy pointed out, this is all a bit rich given his record as Secretary of State for Education, during which the National Union of Teachers unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in him and called for his resignation.
Now Michael Gove is lecturing us about child poverty and opportunities for young people. He was literally the Secretary of State who slashed Sure Start, axed the EMA and wasted billons on free schools and academies leaving our schools with a funding crisis #C4Debate
— Lisa Nandy (@lisanandy) June 16, 2019
4. Jeremy Hunt’s eyes.
Just Jeremy Hunt’s eyes…
— Joanna Cherry QC (@joannaccherry) June 16, 2019
Jeremy Hunt's murder eyes were a highlight
— Craig tildesley #NHS_not_for_sale (@Odin2001iom) June 16, 2019
Does anyone else think that Jeremy Hunt could be the leader of a cult? – it’s the eyes!
— Robin Hill #FBPE (@RobH475) June 16, 2019
5. Krishnan Guru-Murthy asked Sajid Javid why he wasn’t deemed a “a big enough figure” by his own party to be invited to Trump’s state banquet earlier this month.
A cheap shot? Kind of. But Javid didn’t really have an answer to it, tbh. Can we just have Krishnan please?
The next Tory leadership debate takes place live on BBC One at 8pm on Tuesday (June 18). But do remember that unless you’re a member of the Tory party you have no say in which evil/over-privileged/moronic/evil, over-privileged and moronic man we end up with anyway.