BBC QT backlash: Audience heckles Labour MP after host Fiona Bruce demands apology

Question Time: MP evades question about apologising

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The BBC Question Time audience heckled Labour MP Alison McGovern during last night’s panel programme. The backlash against the Labour politician took place during the first question being discussed: “Against the backdrop of the Government’s handling of the Coronavirus, why is it so difficult for politicians to say sorry?” Host Fiona Bruce pressed Ms McGovern on her refusal to simply “say sorry” as audience members were heard disagreeing with the Labour MP.

Ms Bruce interrupted Ms McGovern and said: “We are well off the question here, which is why is it so hard for politicians to say sorry.

“So, I will just ask you – do you think Labour has anything to say sorry for?”

The shadow Sports minister squirmed in response, saying: “I think we tried our best to get together a cross-party way of dealing with this issue.”

A backlash could then be heard from the audience, prompting the BBC host to say: “What am I hearing from the audience? People are shaking their heads.

“We will let Alison finish and then get your response.” 

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Ms McGovern continued: “Personally? We have to learn from it and show we can create a country that is run better.”

Ms Bruce slammed the Labour MP for not answering the question, responding: “I’ll take that as a no then.”

One BBC audience member said that both the Government and Labour need to be held to account when it comes to their COVID response.

She said: “I think the Government and Labour need to be accountable.

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“There needed to be much more of a challenge from Labour over the last 18 months and there wasn’t and we are gaslighting.”

Professor Robert Winston said that the UK’s approach to handling the pandemic was worse than other countries.

He said: “We all made mistakes, but we made catastrophic errors right from the very beginning.”

This comes amid a report from MPs that condemned the UK’s approach to the pandemic.


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The report said that the UK’s failure to do more to stop Covid spreading early in the pandemic was one of the country’s worst public health failure.

The delay in introducing the first lockdown, costing thousands of lives, according to the MPs.

The 150-page document, Coronavirus: Lessons learned to date, is from the Health and Social Care Committee and the Science and Technology Committee, and MPs from all parties.

The report also praised the Government’s vaccination rollout, saying it was “one of the most effective initiatives in UK history”.

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