Key moments of the Tory leadership debate

Here are some of the key moments of the BBC live Tory leadership debate.

1. Islamophobia in the Tory Party

A question from Abdullah, an imam from Bristol, led on to a discussion about Islamophobia and Boris Johnson said he was “sorry for the offence” his comments about veiled Muslim women looking like “letter boxes” and “bank robbers” had caused.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid urged all the candidates to commit to an external investigation into the issue within the Tory party.

As his fellow candidates nodded in agreement, Jeremy Hunt replied: “Absolutely, let’s stamp it out.”

Mr Javid said: “It’s great that we all agree on that.”

2. Candidates clash over tax cuts

The Conservative quintet were less harmonious about Mr Johnson’s proposed tax shake-up.

Mr Johnson said he would lift the National Insurance threshold for the low-paid but there should be a “debate” about the higher income tax rate.

But Mr Hunt, Foreign Secretary, said: “What people accused the Conservatives of is they say we are the party of the rich.

“We must never fall into the trap of doing tax cuts for the rich and confirming that prejudice.”

And Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “I think Boris is making one mistake on tax, which is that of the money we have he is concentrating on cutting taxes for folk who earn what MPs earn and what millionaires earn.”

3. Disagreement over how to deliver Brexit

Each of the candidates varied on their approach to meeting the October 31 Brexit deadline.

Rory Stewart spoke of a door called Parliament standing between the UK and exiting the European Union, and suggested he was the only one trying to find the key to said door.

“Everybody else is staring at the wall shouting believe in Britain,” the International Development Secretary said.

But Mr Gove quickly pointed out: “But we’ve run into that door three times already, Rory.”

Mr Hunt and Mr Gove said a delay beyond October 31 may be necessary if a deal was within reach, and Mr Johnson said the current deadline was “eminently feasible”.

When presenter Emily Maitlis then asked for a show of hands by candidates who could guarantee the UK would leave by Halloween.

“No-one. No-one,” she said, as Mr Hunt tried to take over the questioning of Mr Johnson.

4. Candidates play up their backgrounds

Several of the leadership hopefuls highlighted their personal backstories in their answers.

Mr Johnson referred to his Turkish paternal great-grandfather Ali Kemal when responding to Abdullah’s question on how politicians’ words had consequences for the Muslim community.

He said: “When my Muslim great-grandfather came to this country in fear of his life in 1912, he did so because he knew it was a place that was a beacon of generosity and openness and a willingness to welcome people from around the world.

“And if I am prime minister, I will ensure that that is the way our country acts and behaves.”

Conservative party leadership contender Rory Stewart spoke Arabic to one of the members of the public who posed a question (Yui Mok/PA)
Conservative party leadership contender Rory Stewart spoke Arabic to one of the members of the public who posed a question (Yui Mok/PA)

Mr Javid empathised with Abdullah, telling him his family were Muslim immigrants who also settled Bristol and he was right to be concerned of “growing anti-Mulism hatred”.

Then when Mr Javid tackled Mr Stewart over his refusal to publicly condemn US President Donald Trump’s sharing of a Katie Hopkins tweet, the former prisons minister turned to the camera and said the Islamic greeting “As-Salaam Alaikum”.

“I’m very, very proud to have you in this country,” Mr Stewart, who lived in Afghanistan for several years as chairman of a human development organisation, added.

5. Carmella’s eye-roll

Carmella’s open dissatisfaction with the responses to her fears over the potential economic damage of a no-deal Brexit won her fans on social media.

The mother-of-three shook her head and rolled her eyes as Mr Hunt explained that no-deal must be an option because, as her property-dealing husband might know, “the only way you get deal in the property business is hold on the table the ability to walk away from a deal that isn’t right”.

Sajid Javid on no-deal #Brexit: "One of the fundamental mistakes we've made so far is we didn't prepare well enough"

Jeremy Hunt: Leaving without a deal should be "a last resort"

Live #BBCOurNextPM updates: https://t.co/sYMtjZRym7pic.twitter.com/WMfgtMQ07G

— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) June 18, 2019

Labour MP Jess Philips tweeted: “Carmella for PM”.

And Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden said: “Carmella in Southampton…. you are right… we are not prepared and I worry for you and others in your position. I’m sorry.”

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