20 November 2019 00:33
Boris Johnson faced an awkward moment tonight as he was grilled on live TV over the crisis engulfing Prince Andrew. The Prime Minister was asked if the Duke of York was "fit for purpose" in a live studio showdown between himself and Jeremy Corbyn. He said "the law must take its course" after the Duke refused to show remorse for his friendship with paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. Tonight's ITV debate came a day after the Tory leader laughed off the Duke's Newsnight interview, saying aid "nice try" when he was asked about it. This time, he was cornered by host Julie Etchingham in the first live TV debate of the election - and he and Jeremy Corbyn had very different answers.
Asked if the monarchy was fit for purpose, long-time Republican Mr Corbyn said: "Needs a bit of improvement." Mr Corbyn said: "Before we discuss Prince Andrew I think we should discuss the victims that are there because of what Epstein did. The Prime Minister, who said in August he has "seen the good" Prince Andrew can do, said: "All our sympathies should be obviously with the victims of Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew has faced questions over his judgement in maintaining a friendship with the disgraced billionaire, who was found dead by apparent suicide in his cell in New York in August. BBC viewers reacted with disbelief to Prince Andrew's description of Epstein's behaviour as "unbecoming" and the use of his New York flat as convenient as he denied ever meeting 17-year-old Virginia Roberts But Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon branded Mr Johnson a "scaredy-cat" over his refusal to debate her, saying she would face him "any time, any place". The Labour leader made the comments during tonight's election debate: (Picture: Getty; ITV) Jeremy Corbyn has said the monarchy 'needs a bit of improvement' after being asked on tonight's ITV election debate if it was fit for purpose.
During a quickfire round the last segment of the debate on ITV, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition were asked about the Duke of York. It comes as the prince is facing heavy criticism this week over his friendship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in prison. Johnson and Corbyn both dodged the question of whether or not Prince Andrew is 'fit for purpose' during the debate Hosting Tuesday night's leadership debate in Salford, Julie Etchingham asked the Labour and Tory leaders: 'Is Prince Andrew fit for purpose?' Corbyn said: 'Before we discuss Prince Andrew, I think we should discuss the victims that are there because of what Epstein was doing and I think there are very, very serious questions that must be answered and nobody should be above the law.' Johnson said: 'All our sympathy should be with the victims of Jeffrey Epstein and the law must certainly take its course.' The original question sent in to ITV was: 'Is the Monarchy fit for purpose.' Corbyn fired back that it 'needs a bit of improvement' but Johnson followed with 'the institution of the monarchy is beyond reproach'. In the interview, Andrew denied having sex with Epstein trafficking victim Virginia Roberts, who said she slept with when she was 17. JEREMY Corbyn tonight said the monarchy "needs improvement" after the Prince Andrew scandal.