BBC Question Time Crowd Delivers Brutal, Silent Verdict On Ex-Tory MP's Defection To Labour

Not the ringing endorsement Natalie Elphicke may have been hoping for.
The BBC Question Time audience had a rather damning verdict about what Elphicke would bring to the Labour Party
The BBC Question Time audience had a rather damning verdict about what Elphicke would bring to the Labour Party
Getty/BBC Question Time

The BBC Question Time audience had a pretty stark take about whether or not new Labour MP Natalie Elphicke will be an asset to the party after she defected from the Tories this week.

Before she crossed the floor, Elphicke was considered to be on the right of the Conservative Party and is known for her controversial views on migration.

Keir Starmer’s decision to welcome her to his party has raised more than a few eyebrows.

Question Time host Fiona Bruce asked the crowd Thursday evening: “In the interest of balance, [can I ask] whether anyone thinks Natalie Elphicke will be an asset to the Labour Party?”

The room remained eerily quiet, with not one single hand was up.

“OK, not a hand has gone up,” Bruce noted – before triggering a wave of laughter in the room by mistakenly thinking one person had, in fact, raised their hand.

However, Labour frontbencher Lisa Nandy played down the possible negative consequences of Elphicke’s defection.

She told the audience she was primarily worried about the cost of living crisis and the NHS, adding: “The government has descended into chaos and these are the issues we should be talking about.”

Nady said: “When people are offering to repent of their former views, and come across and take the Labour whip, and vote to protect the people that I represent now and every day between now and when Rishi Sunak calls that general election, it would be an abrogation of responsibility for me to say, ‘absolutely not because I’ve got my values and I don’t believe that you’ve got yours’.

“We have to start winning, we have to force a general election and we have to rebuild this country so it’s in the service of working people again.”

However, left-wing commentator Grace Blakeley thought otherwise.

She said: “Anyone who has criticised Labour recently has been told, ‘you’re just trying to get the Tories in’.

“And here is Keir Starmer, literally getting the Tories in to his own party.”

Blakeley added that “this isn’t just any Tory,” and listed Elphicke’s hardline views on migration and previously critical stance towards Labour.

Elphicke has made headlines for supporting her then-husband after he was convicted as a sex offender.

She wrote an op-ed in 2020 claiming he was punished for being “attractive, and attracted to, women”.

However, the day after she crossed the floor to join Labour, Elphicke apologised for those remarks, saying: “I have previously, and do, condemn his behaviour towards other women and towards me.

“It was right that he was prosecuted and I’m sorry for the comments that I made about his victims.”

Back on Question Time, Blakeley pointed out that she apologised and was accepted into the Labour Party – while veteran MP Diane Abbott still sits as an independent, having lost the party whip after making some controversial remarks around racism.

She apologised “unreservedly” afterwards but more than a year later is yet to be welcomed back into Starmer’s party.

Blakeley said she finds this “double standard really upsetting”.


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