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The best and worst moments for the party leaders on Question Time

UK News | Published: | Last Updated:

Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon, Jo Swinson and Boris Johnson will appear on the BBC discussion show on Friday night.

General Election 2019

Here are the best and worst moments from the appearances of the four main party leaders on Question Time.

Jeremy Corbyn

General Election 2019
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn during the Question Time special (Jeff Overs/BBC)

Best

Jeremy Corbyn’s climate change plans for a Green Industrial Revolution were well received by the audience.

He told Question Time that a Labour government on the international stage would work with others to get to net-zero carbon emissions – but did not specify a date.

Worst

Audience members groaned as Mr Corbyn failed to say whether he would support Leave or Remain in a second referendum, instead saying he would adopt a neutral position.

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The Labour leader also faced tough lines of questioning on his nationalisation plans, socialist policies and record on handling anti-Semitism in the party, with one audience member asking if “businesses should be frightened of an incoming Labour government”.

Nicola Sturgeon

Best

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The SNP leader said she would never put a Conservative prime minister into power – saying she could “not in good conscience” ever put Boris Johnson into Number 10.

Audience members whooped in support at Ms Sturgeon’s stance, and she suggested she would support a Labour minority government if certain conditions were met.

Worst

Ms Sturgeon faced tough questions about her desire for Scottish independence, with one audience member asking how she would explain her plan to break up the UK to those who fought and died to protect Britain in the Second World War.

The audience member was loudly applauded, but Ms Sturgeon said the closest ties between the nations would always be close – adding: “I don’t believe independence for Scotland is turning our backs on that.”

Jo Swinson

General Election 2019
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson was applauded as she ruled out a coalition wit the Tories (Jeff Overs/BBC)

Best

Jo Swinson ruled out propping up a Conservative government led by Boris Johnson, saying the party was “off with Nigel Farage” and “so far off the chart”.

She won loud applause as she ruled out the coalition, and has previously said Liberal Democrat votes would not put Jeremy Corbyn into Number 10.

Worst

One audience member claimed the Liberal Democrats’ name was now a “misnomer” because of their plan to revoke Article 50 and reverse the Brexit vote – as she faced a series of tough questions about the policy from both Remain and Leave supporters.

Ms Swinson was also repeatedly challenged on her record in government and support for austerity policies, with one audience member asking her if she regretted voting with the Tories on “harsh and uncaring benefit cuts”.

Boris Johnson

General Election 2019
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during the BBC Question Time Leaders’ Special (Jeff Overs/BBC)

Best

The Prime Minister succeeded in turning the debate to his central pledge to “get Brexit done” despite being asked about different issues.

Mr Johnson managed to shoehorn his promise to get the UK out of the EU with a deal on January 31 – a key tenet of the Conservative plan for government.

Worst

A question on how important it is for people in positions of power to tell the truth had audience members laughing – with Mr Johnson saying trust is “central” to the election.

There were several groans too when he tried to defend himself as he was challenged on his use of language on women who wear the burka.

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