The Bristol West MP has been praised for her performance on Question Time after debating the ‘Christmas party’ rumours.
Thangam Debbonaire appeared on the BBC weekly show last night (Thursday, December 2), which was broadcast from Weston-super-Mare. She was speaking alongside Vaccines minister Maggie Throup MP, businessman Theo Paphitis, Professor Peter Openshaw and Lib Dem Wendy Chamberlain MP.
Viewers on social media loved Debbonaire’s response to a question about the alleged Christmas Party in Downing Street while the country was in lockdown last winter.
The government has been under fire this week after the Mirror revealed that a gathering had allegedly taken place in Number 10 Downing Street just before Christmas at a time when parties were banned (Boris Johnson insists that no rules were broken).
Showing the importance of the issue, the very first question from a member of the public on Question Time was: “I live at number 10 on my street, so can I have a Christmas party regardless of restrictions?”
Thangam Debbonaire, also Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, said in response: “It really hurts I think for a lot of people that this time last year when the regulations were actually tough, case rates were going up, people were suffering, people were in hospital, people were losing loved ones.
“And to hear now that while most of us were sticking by the rules, were sticking to our bubbles and doing all those things, and we were told no Christmas parties, to hear now that not only was there a Christmas party in high places, but that it was literally in the prime minister’s residence is pretty hard, isn’t it?”
She added: “The joke is not funny anymore and there are people now who have lost loved ones or who went through absolute heartbreak last Christmas being parted from each other.
“I’m sure everyone here knows someone, maybe even some people in this room, who could not be with the people they loved last year, and to think that that was allowed in Number 10, Downing Street, and to think that the prime minister didn’t even have the decency to admit it yesterday at PMQs… He just tried to blag his way out of it.
“The joke’s not funny anymore and it’s really out of order.”
Conservative minister Maggie Throup insisted guidelines were followed at all time.
She said: “I’ve been reassured that all guidance was carefully followed. Whatever the event was, then the guidance was followed. This has just been rumour and hearsay.”
She was then asked about the party multiple times, to which she said she was not there and reiterated the prime minister’s assertion that no rules had been broken.
Dozens of people took to social media following the debate.
One person wrote: “Thangam absolutely nails it,” while another said: “No question: Thangam is a class act.”
Arron said: “Thangam Debbonaire has had her Weetabix,”, and Jack added: “Thangam Debbonaire skewered her Tory counterpart on most subject matters.”