UK
23/10/2015 06:58 BST | Updated 23/10/2015 07:59 BST

BBC Question Time Rant Compares Ian Duncan Smith To China's Human Rights Violations

This is the moment a rant from an audience member on BBC's Question Time that claimed that China's human rights violations are comparable to Ian Duncan Smith's "treatment of disabled people" left studio guests stunned and bemused.

The man was responding to a question pledged by presenter David Dimbleby: "Should the UK be sucking up to a rogue nation just for financial gain?"

"I just wonder how the Conservative government can scrutinise China for their human rights violations when they are being investigated themselves," he said.

"The Department for Work and Pensions and Iain Duncan Smith for his treatment of disabled people. The tax cuts and the austerity measures that are hurting their own people in this country to such an extent... How can you then go and scrutinise another country when you are doing it yourself?" he continued.

bizzaree question time rant

This man launched his rant on Thursday's Question Time

After a muffled and stunned applause from the other audience members, who appeared to look bewildered by the comparison, things didn't resume to normality when a response came from Labour MP Alan Johnson.

Johnson referred to the financial gain and business deals Britain can gain from China.

"We can use that influence to try and change their human rights record, if we only dealt with perfect countries in the world on human rights we’d be dealing with Vatican City in Rome, there would be no one else to actually trade with," he said.

To which Dimbleby interjected: "I’m not sure that was a good example was it?"

The rant referred to news from August this year, when the United Nations announced its intention to investigate the government's welfare reforms for disabled people’s human rights.

At the time a leading disability charity said that the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities had contacted them as part of an investigation into human rights abuses against disabled people in the UK.

Elsewhere on Question Time wealthy Conservative MP, Nadhim Zahawi, dismissed claims his party does not care about the poor as "not fair" as he faced the wrath of BBC Question Time audience members over controversial cuts to tax credits.

And a young audience member attacked the tory government, slamming them for lack of compassion over tax credits. "Personally I don't think there's any such thing as a compassionate Conservative.

"You don't care about the poor, you don't care about the vulnerable, you don't care about the disabled," she said.

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