As could only have been expected, many talking points arose from the ITV election debate.
From Boris Johnson’s inability to stick to a time-limit, Corbyn’s wonky glasses, Christmas presents and… you know, the Conservative party attempting to rebrand their Twitter to look like an official ‘fact-checker’ and being accused of misleading the general public.It was quite the night.
But if ever there was an instance that really showed the difference between the two party leaders it was their reaction to being asked:
Is the monarchy fit for purpose?
Now, given that the last few months that have seen Prince Andrew controversially linked to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein before also being accused of sleeping with an underage girl. All of which culminated in a carcrash BBC interview meant to rebuff the allegations but instead which saw the prince ridiculed and condemned for not showing real empathy for the victims involved. Which then opened the floodgates for further swipes at the Prince, including recent allegations of racism that look to his reputation even further. Between all of this, Pizza Express and the weird hoo-har about not sweating that's been somewhat disputed, it’s safe to say that the public’s opinion of the royal family isn’t at its strongest.
So how did these political bigwigs decide to answer the question?
Well, Corbyn, typically stuck to his ‘man of the people’ mantra by responding, without missing a beat:
It needs a bit of improvement
Which is arguably putting things mildly but certainly not dodging the issue.
Boris Johnson, our beloved PM, how did he answer? By waving his arm a bit and saying:
The institution is beyond reproach
Quite frankly, a bonkers thing to say given the current news cycle but, here we.
The oddness of such a statement was not missed by viewers.
Later when questioned directly about Prince Andrew both figures were careful to avoid casting any real opinion on the Prince himself or his conduct but did acknowledge that the most important people in all of this are the victims, who deserve to have their questions answered. Which, as we've already mentioned, is more than Prince Andrew managed during that BBC interview.
Before we discuss Prince Andrew I think we should discuss the victims that are there because of what Epstein was doing and I think there are very, very serious questions that must be answered and nobody should be above the law.
But the primary position ought to be the proper treatment of those people who were victims of the most appalling behaviour by apparently Epstein and many others.
With an uncharacteristically succinct Johnson agreeing:
I think all our sympathies should be obviously with the victims of Jeffrey Epstein and the law must certainly take its course.
Earlier this week several organisations with shared business or charitable interests with Prince Andrew announced that they would be cutting ties due to the ongoing controversy. Huddersfield’s students’ union has also passed a motion calling for the prince’s resignation as their university chancellor.