‘She was wrong in everything she said’ - Presenter fact checks Question Time bigot over immigration claims

PUBLISHED: 12:18 24 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:00 25 February 2020

Shelagh Fogarty takes down a bigoted Question Time audience member. Photograph: LBC/BBC.

Shelagh Fogarty takes down a bigoted Question Time audience member. Photograph: LBC/BBC.

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A radio presenter has powerfully taken down the bigoted Question Time audience member who claimed the country is ‘sinking’ because of immigration.

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An audience member on Question Time calls for government to close all the borders. Photograph: BBC.An audience member on Question Time calls for government to close all the borders. Photograph: BBC.

LBC radio presenter Shelagh Fogarty played out a clip of the woman who tried to attribute the huge strain on the NHS because of immigrants who were coming here to get treatment "for free".

Fogarty expressed her frustration that her views were promoted by the programme in a video which did not contain any challenges or fact-checking of the remarks, so the presenter went about doing some of the work presenter Fiona Bruce and the panel could have done.

After replaying clips from the programme, she sought to explain why the woman was wrong "about almost everything".

She said: "Some people will be able to challenge it, some people won't wish to challenge it, it will just strip them and reassure them that actually all their views about Britain sinking and being overwhelmed by migration, and there being no education system to speak of left there being no services left.

"Any serious damage to services that we've seen over the last decade is not to do with immigration. It's to do with austerity and cuts to those services.

"Flooding into this country! Different languages! Different languages? A abomination! A GP service daring to put some information in different languages on the wall so people who speak those languages can get some healthcare. Good god, what is this country coming to? Different languages? It's nonsense!"

Fogarty went on to explain that everything the audience member had to say about 'health tourism' was untrue.

She said: "And what she said about health tourism, people just coming willy nilly and using the NHS, actually qualifying for free NHS healthcare isn't based on nationality or where you come from. It is based on the frequency with which you reside in the UK. If you are normally a resident in the UK and you can access free NHS care in the UK... you can get accident and emergency treatment if you are suddenly injured in a sudden accident.

"Do we want to be a country that leaves tourists to bleed to death on streets when they're injured because they are tourist. I don't think they do? Do we? That's not Britain.

MORE: Question Time criticised for promoting 'racist' rant from programme

"Certainly not the Britain I recognise or wish to recognise.

"And as for the cost of so-called 'health tourism'. That can include, based on what I just said your access to healthcare is based on if you are ordinary a resident of the UK, if I left this country and 15 years later decided I quite liked that doctor I used to see and came back to see him or her because of a problem I had, I wouldn't actually have automatic free access to NHS treatment. Because I wouldn't be ordinarily resident in the UK."

The presenter said she could not verify if the incident she spoke about regarding a translator was untrue, but put all of her other incorrect claims down to "xenophobia".

"So, the woman had almost everything wrong in what she said. It was all based on fear or antipathy of foreigners. What she said. She may be a very nice lady, but she's afraid of foreigners, clearly. And none of it was correct. Nothing she said was correct."

She continued: "The reality is health tourism is 0.3% of health spending, in situations I have just described there, when foreign people or British expats (can also be health tourists by the way) come into the UK. And significant amounts of that 0.3% can be recouped back from individuals or the UK."

Concluding her response she said: "We have to we have to challenge these statements every single time if they have even the whiff of nonsense about them, and pretty much everything that lady said was nonsense. Not at least not true."

Twitter users have since identified the audience member as a supporter of the far-right after she was filmed at a Tommy Robinson rally.

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