A Tory MP has said that Jeremy Corbyn could well win a general election - and warned recent events show that he must be taken seriously.
Speaking on BBC Question Time, Kwasi Kwarteng said that the UK’s decision to leave the European and Union and Donald Trump’s election as US president showed that even unlikely-seeming outcomes must be considered.
The Spelthorne MP said: “People take Corbyn as a joke. They think he can’t win, that he’s some sort of crazy, eccentric uncle.
“But actually if you look at what’s happened in the last 18 months: the Tories were not meant to win a majority - you had 8-1 before the election - Corbyn wasn’t meant to win the first time round, Brexit wasn’t mean to happen and Trump was never going to be president.
“All four of those things, in 18 months, have happened.
“So I am someone who takes Corbyn very seriously as a political opponent.
“I think things can happen, it’s an uncertain world and he is a threat, he could get elected.
“I hope that he doesn’t because I think he’d be a disaster but I take the threat seriously.”
The show, which was broadcasting from Stirling in Scotland, also saw one audience member claim democracy was being “lowered to mob rule” as a result of the upset following rump’s election, Brexit and Scotland’s vote to stay in the United Kingdom.
During a question about the US election, where panelists suggested voters were not fully aware of the consequences of their actions, the man in the orange jacket hit out at protests that have followed the three dramatic votes in the last two years.
He said: “Democracy has been lowered to mob rule. When you don’t like the decision of a referendum, you disagree with it.
“The SNP should know this, because we had a referendum and we voted ‘no’ and they didn’t like it.
“We had a referendum on Brexit, they didn’t like it. Let’s go to court. We didn’t like Brexit. And now they don’t like Trump.”
He continued, pointing at no-one in particular but mainly the panelists: “No democracy. Mob rule. Mob rule.”