Entrepreneur Steven Bartlett has condemned Boris Johnson after a series of controversies has dogged the government – claiming that the country is “screwed” if politics is more interesting than reality TV.
Appearing on BBC Question Time on Thursday as the Tories have faced a backlash over alleged Christmas parties during lockdown and new Covid restrictions, the new panelist on BBC’s Dragon’s Den also challenged the Conservative MP appearing on the current affairs show whether she trusted her party leader.
Bartlett said: “The public has definitely lost trust in the government and, to me, as a twentysomething, watching politics play out in this country, this is when you know you are screwed, when your government becomes a more interesting reality show than Love Island.
“There has been cocaine, there has been an affair, lies, every time I refresh my Twitter feed, the breaking news story from this government is someone has lied, deceived us and has double standards.
“How could you possibly, in that context, have trust that these people will lead us out of a pandemic, and the consequence of a lack of trust is very clear.”
He went on to question Conservative MP Rachel Maclean, telling her: “I don’t think you trust Boris.”
Maclean denied the accusation – replying “I do trust him” – but her response received a low murmur from the audience that host Fiona Bruce described as “disbelief”.
Johnson’s administration has this week been mired in multiple controversies.
The PM is facing questions over whether he misled an investigation into donations for refurbishments to his Downing Street flat after a watchdog fined the Tories £17,800.
The Electoral Commission issued the fine after ruling that the Conservative Party had not followed the law over donations by Lord Brownlow to help cover the renovations, with costs exceeding £112,500.
Meanwhile, the probe into alleged Covid rule-busting parties in government has been widened to include another festive celebration and a reported staff leaving do.
The juxtaposition of alleged lockdown parties in Whitehall and the public being urged to follow ‘Plan B’ Covid rules led to Johnson being savaged on the front page of most newspapers.