'Aggressive' Tory Minister Called Out On BBC Question Time For Personal Attack On Labour MP

Bridget Phillipson and David TC Davies on BBC Question Time.
Bridget Phillipson and David TC Davies on BBC Question Time.BBC

An “aggressive” Tory minister has been reprimanded on BBC Question Time after calling a Labour MP a “disgrace”.

David TC Davies, the Welsh secretary, was called out by host Fiona Bruce for his personal attack on Bridget Phillipson, Labour’s shadow education secretary.

Davies was attempting to defend the government’s struggling Rwanda policy by suggesting a Labour alternative was an “open doors policy”.

He then attempted to use the Labour-run Welsh government as an example of why Labour “can’t be trusted”.

As Philipson dismissed his argument as “absolute garbage”, Davies added: “I’m going to tweet right now the reports about this on the BBC ... hopefully everyone will be able to get their phones out and look at what you’ve done in Wales.”

He them said: “You’re a disgrace, Bridget, and your policy is an absolute disgrace.”

Phillipson responded “so much for standards in public life,” just before Bruce’s intervention. 

She said “Can I just say on this programme, and I feel strongly about this, and I’m not joking. I don’t think we should be calling people individually ‘a disgrace’.”

As the audience applauded, Bruce appeared to add it was “not the kind of discourse” wanted on the show.

The clash prompted a reaction against Davies on social media.

Britain and Rwanda signed a deal almost two years ago that would see migrants who cross the English Channel in small boats sent to the East African country, where they would remain permanently.

So far, no migrant has been sent to Rwanda under the agreement, and there is no clear timeline for when “emergency legislation” to bypass objections from the Supreme Court will get through parliament.