Just 50 minutes into last night’s disastrous BBC leadership debate – where law and order, immigration, the Channel crisis, grooming gangs, the rights of women, the future of the licence fee and even the NHS were virtually ignored – a spokesman for Liz Truss issued this comment to the Political Editor of The Times newspaper.
“Rishi Sunak has tonight proven he is not fit for office His aggressive mansplaining and shouty private school behaviour is desperate, unbecoming and is a gift to Labour.”
Now usually I’d think such spin was hyperbole.
But I went back after the show last night and watched the entire unedifying spectacle.
Sunak was arrogant, smug and rude.
He showed his true colours.
Like a spoilt rich kid, he knew that by shouting and hollering over his opponent and the moderator he would get his way.
This is not a man I want in charge of the country.
While Sunak became increasingly desperate with his schoolboy behaviour, there were two moments where Truss absolutely owned him.
And do you notice there that, for once, he didn’t interrupt. I guess he knew he’d just been exposed.
When it came to the all-important matter of the economy and tax cuts, it was this comparison to a former Labour Prime Minister that was another standout moment for Truss…
As Westminster establishment outlet Politico’s Andrew McDonald wrote…
“Critics who wrote off the foreign secretary as wooden and error-prone early in the contest have been forced to eat their words.”
And while the Truss-hating sections of the MSM don’t want to accept it, the debate was a slam dunk for the Foreign Secretary.
Truss not only clearly won among Tory members, she bettered Sunak on every single issue, from Ukraine to the cost of living to Boris Johnson to tax to Brexit.
But the biggest loser last night was the BBC, which devoted precious minutes to rows over clothing rather than the important issues facing this country.
As my colleague – the GB News presenter Alastair Stewart who hosted the first ever general election leaders debate for ITV in 2010 – wrote in a column for Spiked Online tonight…
"The low point was the nonsense about sartorial matters. Far too much time was wasted on questions about everything from Rishi’s fine suits and loafers to Liz’s earrings. The segment was prompted by remarks from Boris Johnson loyalist Nadine Dorries. Her sniping from the sidelines had become something of a thing on social media earlier that day. But the BBC should have risen above it, not capitalised on it.
"Last night’s debate was a golden opportunity for the national broadcaster to repair its damaged reputation for authority and impartiality. It gave it the chance, having seen Channel 4 and ITV’s efforts, to give a kind of ‘this is how you do it’ lesson. Instead, the debate was given an ill-conceived format. And at times, the BBC even appeared to demonstrate a preference for Sunak."
Of course, the BBC – just like the rest of the establishment and the MSM – are in the tank for Sunak.