Thursday’s Question Time audience and even some panel were left exasperated when a Tory minister attempted to toe the party line when quizzed about an alleged party at Number 10.
Earlier this week, The Mirror broke the news that Boris Johnson had reportedly hosted a party of 40 or 50 people on December 18th last year which was strictly against the Covid-19 restrictions that were in force at that time, which outlawed any socialising indoors.
This story was brought under the spotlight on Thursday’s show with vaccines minister Maggie Throup attempting to answer the audience’s question on the issue by claiming that all of the Covid rules were followed at the time.
“I have been reassured that all guidance was carefully followed,” said Throup but when host Fiona Bruce asked the audience whether they were satisfied with the answer they responded with a resounding “no.”
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Throup was then given a second stab at the question but again answered with: “My answer is not going to change because the guidance was followed, as the prime minister quite clearly said.”
At this point, fellow panel member, Labour’s Thagnam Debbonaire, was so exasperated that she put her head in her hands while the audience groaned at Throup’s answers.
Bruce then pressed Throup for a clearer answer and asked whether there was a Christmas party at all. Again Throup said: “Whatever the event was, then the guidance was followed.”
Bruce responded with “So there was an event.” At this point, the 64-year-old MP for Erewash was really struggling for answers and tried to deflect by saying “this has just been rumour and hearsay.”
The reaction on social media was similar to the reaction that Debbonaire had in the studio.
Good lord this is painful https://t.co/09oStFDWEZ— Liam Thorp (@Liam Thorp) 1638515679
Not even Fiona Bruce is buying the Tory MP lies today! Maggie Throup is an absolute disgrace, admits she wasn’t in… https://t.co/UNOX4I7rUx— kerry ✊💙 (@kerry ✊💙) 1638485833
Seriously. This performance from Maggie Throup is unbelievable. Absolutely out of her depth. It’s frightening.… https://t.co/JMVowqqteH— Andrew Jazzie (@Andrew Jazzie) 1638486293
Watch the Tory Christmas Shindig go from following the guidance to being an “event” to merely being a rumour in les… https://t.co/EvQ7e0KnmT— James Felton (@James Felton) 1638539590
Will the Tories ever give my constituents in Coventry a straight answer? No. Will the Tories continue to believe… https://t.co/rEQl1Ksl9k— Taiwo Owatemi MP (@Taiwo Owatemi MP) 1638532826
Throup was initially responding to a question from a woman in the audience who complained that she was unable to visit her parent’s in south London last Christmas because of the Tier 3 rules that the capital was under at the time.
Throup’s answered this by saying: “Well I respect that people put up with a lot over the last 20 months. Nobody could have predicted what was going to happen. The Prime Minister said quite clearly on Wednesday at PMQs that all guidance was followed.”
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