Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt finally shared the stage in a long overdue leadership debate, where they clashed over Brexit strategies, the UK’s relationship with Donald Trump and why each of them would be better suited to serve as prime minister.
Hunt accused his Tory rival of not being willing to “put his neck on the line” by pledging to quit as PM if he didn’t hit the 31 October deadline.
The pair traded verbal blows, with Hunt saying at one point that Boris "[hasn’t] answered any of my questions".
Analysis of the debate by The Independent says that though the pair landed their fair share of blows, it was Jeremy Hunt who came out on top. They wrote:
“Jeremy Hunt landed the most blows and pushed his rival well on several areas, including whether he would resign if he failed to deliver Brexit by 31 October, and whether he would rule out proroguing parliament. Johnson seemed evasive throughout, and Hunt leapt on it.
“The current frontrunner also became increasingly rattled, frequently shouting over his rival and the moderator, Julie Etchingham.”
Hunt, calm and assured, appeared the most statesmanlike, and had some good lines on Mr Johnson's trustworthiness and the detail of his promises. He accused him of a lack of leadership and prioritising tax cuts for wealthy people, and suggested that Johnson was making empty promises and failing to provide enough detail. It was a clear strategy to suggest that his rival is unfit to be prime minister.
Many people online are inclined to agree – Jeremy won the round.
Boris' debate style is "loud and blustery."
Hunt didn't do enough to secure a win, others argued.
Others thought t
hey were equally terrible it was more of a tie.
And there were those who argued that just because Jeremy Hunt was the public's preferred choice... it's not something to brag about given that his rival is Boris.
MP David Lammy, like many, thought the whole thing was a charade.
Details of the debate were put under a microscope.
There's this great analogy...