Here's what the audience really thought of Boris Johnson after the leaders' debate

Will Taylor
News Reporter
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn during the debate. (Jonathan Hordle//ITV via Getty Images)

He may have (narrowly) won the debate, according to one snap poll, but some of the audience members who quizzed party leaders at ITV’s debate tonight did not like Boris Johnson’s answers.

The Prime Minister spent much of the time – and used many of the questions thrown at him – trying to steer the debate back to Brexit ahead of the general election.

Yahoo News UK spoke to three of the audience members who asked questions immediately after the debate to gauge their reaction.

‘Where does the money come from?’

Bev Davies, from Newport, accused both Mr Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of having never had to worry about money, and said they would throw it away in “silly election giveaways”.

Bev Davies, from Newport, a care home laundry assistant. (ITV)

She told Yahoo News UK afterwards: “I think the trouble with Boris Johnson is the fact he has had so many little pet programmes, like his garden bridge, and there were so many millions of pounds wasted on that.

“But those millions of pounds could’ve been put to our nurses, our teachers – and, from my point of view, I’ve always worked on minimum wage.

“It’s about time they started thinking – we are the little people, we are the ones that go to vote, and to me all of a sudden with Boris Johnson – we’ve gone all these years with austerity, with no money but all of a sudden now Boris is saying ‘yeah we’ve got money, we’re going to do this, were going to do that’ – where did that money come from?”

‘How can we trust you?’

Fahad Sayood said to the leaders: “At the heart of it all (the campaign) is one very simple question: how can we trust you?”

Fahad Sayood quizzed the leaders about trust. (ITV)

The Prime Minister’s assertion that truth is important was laughed at by audience members.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Sayood told us: “The fact the answer to my question went towards Brexit, as with every other answer I guess, in a way did not surprise me but did disappoint me.”

Asked who he thought had won the encounter, the Londoner said: “I think no one landed a killer punch but I think in the days of social media everyone just wants to avoid having a disaster.”

He did not want to say who he would vote for on the back of it.


Dr Omar Chehab, who works in the NHS, asked how the leaders would meet the NHS’s future demands without just pledging more cash and if there would be a growing role for the private sector.

Dr Omar Chehab asked how the leaders would meet the NHS’s future demands without just promising additional funding. (ITV)

Mr Corbyn accused Mr Johnson of being prepared to sell out the NHS in a US trade deal, which Mr Johnson repeatedly denied.

Dr Chehab said Mr Johnson had ignored the part of his question about not just pledging more cash.

“He talked only about pledging money, which was predictable – and then said ‘no, I will not privatise the NHS’. That's a completely different thing.

“We know he will never openly say it but you can involve the private sector in much more subtle ways that aren't privatising the whole thing in one go, and so I felt that was not a straight answer.”

The doctor, who lives and works in London, said the Tories had left it in a “bad place” and that NHS professionals would not have learned much from the debate.

“We have to look at people’s record and action and not their words.”

He believed Mr Corbyn had answered well but wanted to hear more specifics about his NHS plans.