5 thoughts from social media on the BBC’s Tory leadership debate
The five candidates discussed Brexit, the environment and more.
While the candidates for the Tory leadership debated issues and answered questions on television, social media reacted.
But what caught the eye of those who took to Twitter during the BBC debate? Here are five things people discussed online.
– 1. Why did Rory Stewart remove his tie?
Why did @RoryStewartUK take off his tie mid-way through debate?— Robert Peston (@Peston) June 18, 2019
Rory Stewart came through the second ballot for the Tory leadership with 37 votes, but attracted attention for another reason once the debate began.
Viewers noticed Mr Stewart had removed his tie early on in the discussion, leaving plenty baffled as to his motive.
“Why did @RoryStewartUK take off his tie mid-way through debate?” broadcaster Robert Peston tweeted.
The tie remained absent for the remainder of the broadcast, but Stewart’s positioning on his chair also drew comment.
The 46-year-old appeared to be the only candidate with his feet on the ground, sitting on the edge of his seat while the others balanced their feet on their stools.
Rory Stewart doing a slow slide down his chair and taking off his tie. What sort of Magic Mike flex is this? #BBCOurNextPM— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) June 18, 2019
– 2. Erin for prime minister
Erin, 15, from Glasgow asked the candidates whether they would commit to net-zero carbon emissions by 2025, but was not satisfied with the answers she received on the subject.
“Erin, who’s impressed you the most?” Emily Maitlis asked.
“Well to be honest, none of you have really impressed me in the way that I’m looking for,” Erin replied.
“Climate change isn’t an issue of tomorrow, it’s an issue of today, and we need to take drastic, critical action and I don’t think any of you are willing to offer that.”
Comedian Kathy Burke tweeted: “Erin. The most intelligent person on there,” while Labour MP Jess Phillips responded to Erin’s concerns by tweeting: “This is going to take a huge amount of change and we should stop faffing.”
Erin. The most intelligent person on there.— kath 🙀❄️🇪🇺💚 (@KathyBurke) June 18, 2019
Erin: Yes Erin we need to be much more impatient for change, I could lie and say we will definitely get to net zero by 2025 but it wouldn't be honest on the current infrastructure and culture we have. This is going to take a huge amount of change and we should stop faffing— Jess Phillips Esq., M.P. (@jessphillips) June 18, 2019
– 3. Bickering
How rare it is to hear men loudly talking over someone else. What a treat. #BBCOurNextPM— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) June 18, 2019
The format of the debate saw a question asked by a member of the public, which Maitlis then repeated to the candidates, but the ensuing discussion left a lot to be desired.
With candidates talking over one another as well as their host, those on social media were quick to criticise the results.
“Can we make sure that #BBCOurNextPM is never shown to anyone overseas, ever. Can we lock the tapes away. Can we just keep it to ourselves,” Ben Fogle tweeted.
Meanwhile another Twitter user wrote: “Emily Maitlis increasingly looking like the supply teacher who’s drawn the short straw handling the detention class from Hell.”
Emily Maitlis increasingly looking like the supply teacher who's drawn the short straw handling the detention class from Hell. #BBCOurNextPM— Phil Dore (@PhilJDore) June 18, 2019
Can we make sure that #BBCOurNextPM is never shown to anyone overseas, ever. Can we lock the tapes away. Can we just keep it to ourselves. Embarrassing family secrets and all that.— Ben Fogle (@Benfogle) June 18, 2019
– 4. How did Emily Maitlis do?
While the candidates squabbled at times, Maitlis appeared to bear the brunt of the criticism online.
Some said the chair had lost control of the debate, while the host was also criticised for apparently talking over the candidates during discussion.
I wish Emily Maitlis would stop talking over the candidates debating. I want to hear what they have to say, not you.— Craig Harris (@iamcraigharris) June 18, 2019
I really like Emily Maitlis but the chairing of this debate is absolutely shambolic. What's the point of asking a question then randomly cutting in half way through the answer? It's just painful to watch. #BBCOurNextPM— Barendina Smedley (@fugitiveink) June 18, 2019
However, others felt it was the candidates who were to blame for ignoring Maitlis’s questions and comments.
“The guys on the #BBCOurNextPM debate are basically just ignoring the only woman present – @maitlis – it is NOT a good look!” tweeted Channel 4 news presenter Cathy Newman.
Emily Maitlis reduced to repeatedly saying "can you hear me?" at Boris Johnson as he continues to ignore every question she puts to him. #BBCOurNextPM— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) June 18, 2019
– 5. An eye roll for the ages
If one moment were to sum up social media’s reaction to the discussion, it would be the eye-roll offered by Carmella, who had asked why a no-deal Brexit was being contemplated.
While the candidates spoke over one another in the studio, Carmella rolled her eyes from the screen in front of them.
“Carmella’s savage eye-roll is all of us right now,” tweeted one, while Ms Phillips simply tweeted: “Carmella for PM”.
Carmella for PM— Jess Phillips Esq., M.P. (@jessphillips) June 18, 2019
The third ballot will go ahead on Wednesday, where Boris Johnson remains the favourite to become the next leader of the Conservative Party.