A BBC Question Time audience member responded furiously to the Conservative chairman’s answer to a question about kindness.

James Cleverly, one of the most senior Tory politicians, was asked to give an example of kindness for the UK to follow after three years of bitter arguments in parliament.

His response left a lot to be desired...

After pausing to think about his answer, Cleverly said:

...it’s little things, just remembering to make a cup of coffee for my wife before I left the house this morning…

The audience member was understandably not satisfied with that answer and shouted back:

[This is about] statesmanship and being a group of people who are worth to be followed, not giving people a cup of tea in the afternoon!

This is about people whose lives are being wrecked and you are a disgrace to the country by the way you behave in parliament, the way you talk, you’re being video’d - it’s awful!

And there are times when I am embarrassed to be British.

Cleverly then sheepishly walked back his comments and argued that there were moments of kindness in private in parliament.

He added:

The saving grace is the bit of parliamentary life that is most visible is the most confrontational and actually there is genuine kindness… there are many hundreds of us and you find people who have had recent bereavements, or family illnesses, and actually I find right across the political spectrum people can be unbelievably thoughtful and kind.

Sometimes we’re really bad at doing that publicly, and we could and should do more of that publicly.

If only he’d given that answer the first time - unfortunately for Cleverly, it was all too little too late.

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