Jeremy Hunt trolled Boris Johnson with the hashtag #NoShowBoJo during a banter-filled Q&A – but here are some of the trickier questions that Hunt gave his own ‘no show’ treatment to.
I'm 20 years old. I was 17 when the vote happened so I had no voice. We also know so much more information about Brexit and the EU. Given the new circumstances, do you sincerely believe the majority of the country still wants to go ahead with Brexit? @Jeremy_Hunt #BoJoNoShow— Max (@RealMaximeWest) June 25, 2019
The leadership candidate played a risky hand on when he set up an ask-me-anything style Q&A session on Twitter, and it appears to have paid off. Not only did Hunt burnish his social media reputation with self-deprecating humour, he managed to further drive home his message of Boris Johnson being too cowardly to face public questioning.
But being able to cherry-pick friendly questions means it’s not quite the grilling it should be, and Hunt conveniently ignored some important issues.
The Remain cause
Hunt more or less ignored questions from Remainers, just expressing his blind faith in getting through “a Brexit that works for people … who voted to remain, and those who have always wanted to leave”.
Asked how he could succeed where Theresa May had failed, he responded: “Don’t propose a deal that won’t get through parliament”, despite the EU saying there will be no renegotiation of the withdrawal agreement.
But he was unwilling to address more pointed and inconvenient questions on how his Brexit plan could possibly work.
@Jeremy_Hunt You promoted an insurance healthcare system for the NHS in 2005. You were in charge during the winter crisis in 2016/17 that the Red Cross called a 'humanitarian disaster.' Please explain how the public is meant to trust you to protect our institutions. #BoJoNoShow— Aristaeus (@Aristaeus890) June 25, 2019
Edwin Hayward asked: “How can you in one breath paint a catastrophic picture of the effects of no deal Brexit on the economy, and in the next claim you would still pursue it as a last resort over remaining (and presumably no damage)?”
While David Child reminded him of the questionable basis of the referendum itself: “Why do you have to stick by a referendum which, had it been an election, would have been contested and turned over in court due to the level of illegal activity in the campaign?”
Twenty-year-old ‘RealMaximeWest’ was retweeted 131 times for asking: “I was 17 when the vote happened so I had no voice. We also know so much more information about Brexit and the EU. Given the new circumstances, do you sincerely believe the majority of the country still wants to go ahead with Brexit?”
Hunt had no time for this, but DID have time to give credence to allegations of postal vote ‘fraud’ in the Peterborough by-election. The issue that has been baselessly stirred by the Brexit Party, who recently called for a ‘shake-up’ of the voting system because if it. “We need to crack this,” Hunt said in response to a worried questioner. Cambridgeshire Police would disagree – they’ve closed their investigation into allegations of postal vote fraud having found no evidence whatsoever to back it up.
The NHS under Hunt
As all politicians must, Hunt promised a happy NHS full of rainbows and ice cream, but ignored the glaring questions of why anyone should trust him after presiding over the NHS during austerity. Here are some of the questions that went ignored:
What are you doing to bring Nazanin back to her home and family? Because that's kind of your job right now #BoJoNoShow— •• (@agirlcalledlina) June 25, 2019
“When will you take responsibility for the many unnecessary deaths as a result of your policies on social care/the NHS?” asked Anita K.
“Why did 300 psychiatrists and thousands of mental health workers get cut under your watch?” asked John Peek.
Twitter user ‘Aristeus’ said: “You promoted an insurance healthcare system for the NHS in 2005. You were in charge during the winter crisis in 2016/17 that the Red Cross called a ‘humanitarian disaster’. Please explain how the public is meant to trust you to protect our institutions.”
Hunt did answer a question about his alleged promotion of privatised healthcare, responding to a question from Nick Skinner about Direct Democracy-An Agenda for a New Model Party, a book which Hunt co-authored and which advocates for the dismantling of the NHS as a public body. “I didn’t write the bit on the NHS, didn’t agree with it then – don’t agree with it now,” said Hunt, which is technically true. What he didn’t mention is that the book is not authored chapter by chapter, so Hunt can’t have felt too strongly about its NHS recommendations at the time he added his name to it.
Twitter user ‘agirlcalledlina’ asked: “What are you doing to bring Nazanin back to her home and family? Because that’s kind of your job right now”.
While British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s imprisonment by Iranian authorities is a scandal that happened on Boris Johnson’s watch – and was, according to her husband, worsened by his bungling of the case – the issue is now Jeremy Hunt’s problem as foreign secretary.
Any answers? Radio silence.
In 2018, Hunt had to admit that he had breached money laundering rules by getting a bulk discount on seven luxury flats. Hunt called it an ‘honest mistake’: a matter of conflict of interest rather than a criminal matter, but all the same lots of people on Twitter asked him why he’s not in jail. Hunt didn’t respond, although he did later post a picture of himself in his own, very comfortable looking surroundings. He had pizza, though, so he’s a man of the people.
“What does swan taste like?” asked Stuart Braithwaite. It’s unclear why. But Hunt dodged the question. Typical politician.