‘The short notice was not ideal’: Aylesbury MP David Lidington on his Question Time appearance

MP David Lidington appears on the BBC's Question Time
MP David Lidington appears on the BBC's Question Time

Aylesbury MP David Lidington has revealed he was only given a few hours notice ahead of his appearance on the BBC’s flagship political programme Question Time last night (Thursday).

Mr Lidington told the Herald: “I was only told at 2.45pm in the afternoon that they wanted me to come on.

“Having to hike down to Plymouth at short notice was not ideal.

“I had to pull out of another commitment in London to attend.

“It was a case of printing out the briefing notes and then getting in the car.

“I’m a bit weary today because I got back at 1.30 in the morning.”

The programme has received a lot of media coverage after presenter David Dimbleby threw out a member of the audience who kept interrupting the panel.

On the incident, Mr Lidington said: “It was a pity that David had to throw the chap out.

“He kept on shouting out and interrupting people and actually talking to Gina Miller, one of the other panellists afterwards, she thought she said had seen him behaving in a similar manner on another programme in the past.

“There was a danger of it becoming more like Jeremy Kyle than a political debate.”

Asked whether he had any indication of what was going to be discussed on the show beforehand he said: “We have absolutely no idea.

“David actually covers up the questions so I couldn’t try and see!

“We actually get a dummy question before they start filming - which was about school uniform after an incident in Exeter where boys were sent home for wearing skirts as a protest about the hot weather.”

When the cameras were rolling one of the main themes of the programme was the fall-out from the general election and Brexit.

Mr Lidington said: “I campaigned hard for a remain vote on Brexit and was disappointed with the result.

“Had it been the other way round I would have said to my party colleagues we have to accept the public verdict.”

Responding to allegations the Government did not know its negotiating position on Brexit he said: “The Prime Minister does know our negotiating position.

“We know what we want and we have set out our objectives.

“These include sorting out the rights of UK citizens and sorting out an ambitious trade with the European Union.

“We want to maintain a close friendship with our partners in other countries in Europe.

“Despite being an outside member we want to build co-operation.”

Mr Lidington also said during the course of the debate he believed that ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s policies would bring ruin to the country’.

The final issue raised was about the fall-out from the fatal fire at the Grenfell Tower block in London.

Mr Lidington said: “It is clear the community feel mistrust and alienated from public authority.

“The inquiries that are ongoing will give the answers - we must then act swiftly on their findings.”