03/03/2017 11:16 GMT | Updated 03/03/2017 11:17 GMT

BBC Question Time Audience Member With Russian Wife Wants 'England To Look After Its Own First'

'I’m sick of people saying we can’t use the word ‘foreigner’ about people that have come here.'

A BBC Question Time audience member has been criticised after insisting England should “look after its own first” despite having a Russian wife.

The pony-tailed gentleman also caused confusion when he suggested he wouldn’t be too bothered if his “foreign” friends weren’t guaranteed the right to stay in Britain after Brexit.

Thursday night’s edition of the show, broadcast from Bedford, debated at length the recent House of Lords vote to give EU citizens living in the UK guaranteed rights to stay after the triggering of Article 50.


This BBC Question Time audience member said he wanted 'England to look after its own first'

The man in question told the panel: “I’m sick and tired of hearing politicians and everybody say that British people don’t know what we voted for.

“We voted to get out of the single market, we voted to get out of EU and we voted to become Great Britain again and not part of Europe.

“I’m sick of people saying we can’t use the word ‘foreigner’ about people that have come here. My wife is Russian, she’s a foreigner, but she’s my wife and I’m proud of her.”

Host David Dimbleby replied: “Your wife is your wife but she is not one of the three million EU citizens -  what do you say about them to people who are?”

But he insisted: “It doesn’t matter, I live in a block of 10 places. Eight of them places are foreigners. But I still get on with them, they’re still my friends.”

Dimbleby pressed him: “So you’d like to see a guarantee given?”

He responded: “No, I want England to look after its own first.”

Many on social media pointed out it seemed a little odd that the man was calling for “England to look after its own” given his wife was Russian...

A member of the audience was also mocked after suggesting one of the worst consequences of leaving the EU could be the lack of people to serve her coffee in Pret a Manger.

During a section discussing the recent House of Lords vote, Lord Chancellor Liz Truss and Lord Menzies Campbell, sparred over the outcome.

Host David Dimbleby then turned to “the woman in orange” in the audience for her take on the matter.

She said: “I think it’s appalling that people could even consider making people who live in this country, who have made it their home, to send them back.

“What about the teachers we have? If we’re going to have teachers teaching French and Spanish to our kids, I’d rather they were French and Spanish people than English people.

Dimbleby replied: “But Liz Truss said they are going to be allowed to stay.” 

She said: “You don’t know that. For everybody else here who works in London, who would be serving us our coffee in Pret? Who would be serving us our sandwiches?

“You’re not going to get English people to take those jobs.”

Whilst well-intentioned, her choice of words prompted a disapproving mumble rustled through the audience and Twitter also exploded with criticism.