Host Fiona Bruce was joined by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Labour MP Margaret Beckett and Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran in Tunbridge Wells last night. The panel also included Doctor and presenter Xander van Tulleken and Daily Telegraph columnist Tim Stanley.
The audience was mainly concerned by the recent Coronavirus spike in the UK and how they should be combatting such an outbreak.
However, later on in the show the tables turned on Home Secretary Priti Patel following recent bullying allegations.
Ms Patel was recently accused of mistreating staff which included “swearing, belittling people, making unreasonable and repeated demands”.
Sir Philip Rutnam, the Home Office’s most senior official resigned over the matter last week and said he now intended to take legal action against the Home Office on the basis of constructive dismissal.
He alleges he had been forced out of his job.
Ms Moran decided to have her own say on the matter last night by referencing a quote from Harry Potter character Sirius Black.
Ms Moran said: “There is a broader bullying culture that is emanating from Number 10.”
The Lib Dem MP also said that there needs to be an independent investigation into accusations made against the Home Secretary.
She added: “I believe that bullying and harassment have no place in any organisation. Number 10 should not be exempt from that.
“But you also set the tone from Government, you set the tone not just for the civil service but actually the whole of the country.
“We’ve been talking today about compassion and pulling together and wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were all just a bit nicer to each other but I’m sorry to say that also applies to the way people treat each other in Government, in Parliament and in our institutions.”
Mr Hancock hit back and said that the facts must be established about the bullying allegations before condemning Ms Patel.
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He said: “In all the conversations and dealings I’ve had, she’s always been courteous, and polite and straightforward.”
Mr Hancock also added that he was surprised by the allegations.
But Ms Moran then took a line from Harry Potter to further slam the Home Secretary.
She said: “Today is world book day so one of my favourite books is Harry Potter and in it is something worth bearing in mind, a quote from Sirius Black who was himself bullied.
“And if you want to judge a man or indeed, in this case, a woman then look at how they treat their inferiors not their peers.
“And in this case I do think if I was Priti Patel and I was hearing these allegations, and you are hearing these as well, are you really so comfortable backing her to the hilt in the way that you are?”
But users were not happy with Ms Moran’s Harry Potter reference.
One user said: “Layla Moran discussing bullying and citing Harry fucking Potter and Sirius Black? Really, she is a complete Wazzock.”
Another said: “Layla Moran – my favourite book is Harry Potter……. in case you didn’t already think she was a t**t.”
Another commented: “There have been some **** performances on #bbcqt over the year’s but Layla Moran really did come across as utterly incompetent.
“God help her constituents.”
Clive commented: “Matt Hancock talks sense Layla Moran quotes Harry Potter.”
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