Rishi Sunak Booed And Heckled During Brutal Sky News Election Grilling

Rishi Sunak during the Sky News election event with Sky's political editor Beth Rigby.
Rishi Sunak during the Sky News election event with Sky's political editor Beth Rigby. Pool via Getty Images

Rishi Sunak was booed and heckled by voters as he endured a brutal grilling in a Sky News election debate.

Members of the audience turned on the prime minister as he appeared to blame striking junior doctors for rising NHS waiting lists.

Sky News political editor Beth Rigby told the PM he had only kept two of the five pledges he made to the public shortly after he entered No.10.

Among those he has failed to keep was his promise to bring down waiting lists, which are now 300,000 higher than they were at the time.

Rigby said: “You made the pledge in January 2023 and they’re going up.”

But Sunak hit back: “You had a question earlier from a junior doctor and everyone knows the impact the industrial action has had, and that’s why we haven’t made as much ...”

As Rigby said “so it’s the doctors’ fault”, the audience began shouting “rubbish” at the PM and boos could clearly be heard.

Sunak was also left squirming when Rigby asked him: “You must surely see why so many voters think it’s time for you and the Conservatives to get your P45?”

As the audience broke into applause, the PM replied: “Of course I can understand people’s frustrations, it’s been a very difficult few years. We’ve been through two once in a century shocks which had had an enormous impact on everyone.”

Sunak’s misery was compounded by a snap YouGov poll, which found that Labour leader Keir Starmer - who faced a grilling from Rigby and the audience before the prime minister - comfortably won the debate.

Some 64% of those surveyed believed he had the better evening compared to just 36% for Sunak.

Lib Dem deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “Rishi Sunak blaming others for soaring NHS waiting lists under his watch shows just how out of touch he is.

“The legacy of his government is one of crumbling hospitals, people waiting hours for an ambulance and patients being treated in corridors.”