Johnny Mercer Told 'Facts Matter' During Bizarre Question Time Performance

Tory minister makes a series of dubious claims, and faces criticism for “shouting across every member of the panel".

A Conservative minister has been ridiculed online for his performance on BBC Question Time.

Johnny Mercer clashed with Labour frontbencher Bridget Philipson repeatedly on the corporation’s flagship politics show, and faced criticism for talking over fellow panelists.

At one point, the Opposition MP was joined by host Fiona Bruce and guest Dale Vince, the green energy entrepreneur, to correct the veterans minister wrongly suggesting the Labour Party was funded by climate protestors, Just Stop Oil.

Mercer said: “You’re funded by Just Stop Oil, right? Which you’re not gonna give back.”

Philipson replied: “What are you talking about? That is categorically untrue.”

Mercer then tried to argue Vance donated to Just Stop Oil and some Labour politicians, including leader Keir Starmer.

“Facts matter,” Bruce interjected, as she pointed out this was not the same as Just Stop Oil funding the Labour Party.

“Would you like to set the record straight now, Johnny,” asked Philipson.

He was also slapped down after misinterpreting Labour’s position on the NHS.

During a question about the NHS, as the service marks its 75th anniversary, Philipson made the case for the NHS remaining free at the point of need – meaning the public has access to healthcare regardless of whether they can afford it at that moment or not.

She said: “I believe the principle of access free at the point of need is what has built the NHS, and made it so great, that we know that however much you’ve got in your bank account you can get the care you need, or you should be able to get the care you need at the point at which you need it.”

She added: “The sad reality is after 13 years of the Conservatives, that isn’t the case for people right now.”

But the point was was later given a different spin by Mercer.

The Plymouth MP said: “I mean, this idea that Bridget came out with, it depends how much money you’ve got in your bank account, whether you get served in A&E, is obviously garbage.”

Philipson swiftly responded: “That wasn’t the point I was making. You’re misrepresenting my position.”

Mercer continued: “You did say it depends how much money you’ve got as to how quickly you get treated.”

Philipson continued that she apologised if she “misspoke”, adding: “The point I was making was that it shouldn’t depend on how much you have in your bank account, whether you get access to healthcare.”

She ended the back and forth by saying: “Your government has broken the NHS and now you quibble about semantics.”

The Tory MP was later accused of “shouting across every member of the panel tonight” by an audience member.

Mercer on the show stood by his jibe at critics of “collective bed-wetting” after the backlash he faced for saying armed forces personnel don’t need to use food banks.


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