ITV Debate Audience Laughs At Penny Mordaunt For Saying Voters Should Trust Sunak's Record

Penny Mordaunt during the ITV debate on Thursday night.
Penny Mordaunt during the ITV debate on Thursday night. Handout via Getty Images

Penny Mordaunt was mocked by both the members of the other political parties and the audience during ITV’s election debate last night.

Each party representative was allowed to ask one free question to another person, and Reform UK leader Nigel Farage chose the leader of the House of Commons.

The populist politician – who has long campaigned to cut migration – said: “Given your 2010 manifesto, your 2015 manifesto, your 2017 manifesto said you’d reduce net migration by tens of thousands, your 2019 migration said that net migration would massively reduce and that net 4.3m have come in the country in that time.

“Why on earth should anyone believe the fifth manifesto which promises cuts to net migration?”

“Because of the record of this prime minister,” Mordaunt replied with a straight face.

The audience (and Farage) broke out into laughter – some even clapped.

But the minister ignored that. She just said visa applications have fallen by 30% and that the Office for Budget Responsibility said we will have halve immigration by next summer.

Mordaunt was also mocked when she tried to say her opponents needed to be “honest” about what was in their manifestos, and claimed that every party, other than the Tories, would raise taxes.

The Conservatives actually took the tax burden to a 70-year high.

Farage then triggered more audience laughter when he said: “What are you on about?”

Plaid Cymru’s leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth, asked the Tory minister: “How about some honesty about the fact that freezing thresholds has meant higher taxes under the Tories?”

The room broke out into applause at that comment.

ap Iorwerth continued: “This is the honesty and integrity we’re looking for. We need politicians to be truthful with people about the challenges we face, we need good judgement.”

Mordaunt was not the only one in the firing line last night.

Farage was mocked by the audience too, when he tried to claim other parties have “lied to us repeatedly”.

The SNP’s Stephen Flynn cut in and said: “Says you, come on! You’ve made a career of doing that.”

Farage then replied that he’d “always told the truth”, prompting more laughter from the studio audience.

Overnight, Reform UK overtook the Conservative Party in a YouGov poll by one percentage point, putting the Tories in third place three weeks away from the election.

The survey suggested Farage’s party – which had only one MP in the last parliament, Tory defector Lee Anderson – was now on 19%, while The Conservatives trail on 18%.

Labour are still steaming ahead comfortably, on 37%.