BBC fans praise Louise Minchin as she makes Ben Wallace ‘squirm’ in PM grilling04/26/2021
BBC Breakfast viewers praised presenter Louise Minchin for refusing to back down as she pressed Defence Secretary Ben Wallace for answers over claims about Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the morning programme Monday.
The BBC host grilled the guest as he was standing outside an enormous container ship, pressing him to answer definitively over questions at the weekend as to whether the PM had paid for the refurbishment costs of his flat himself.
"There have been repeated questions over the refurbishment of the Prime Minister’s flat, so let’s just… a few questions just to be clear, where did the money come from to pay the bill?" Louise began.
Immediately put out by the line of questioning, Ben answered bluntly: "The PM has paid the bill, on top of the £30,000 allowance that comes from the tax payer which British PMs have taken advantage of in the past. And he’s paid the money."
"OK so you say he’s paid the money, was it originally a loan?" the Breakfast journalist pressed.
"Well you know I don’t," Ben stuttered. "The Prime Minister’s paid the money, from his own money. That’s how it’s been paid.
"I don’t know, you know, there’s a lot of speculation around this but the simple fact is the Prime Minister has paid from his own money and I think a lawyer has been appointed to oversee the process."
Going on to say there will be a number of enquiries going on in parliament, the guest said he "thinks these answers will come out in the future" and the Cabinet office and reports will eventually show details of expenditure.
But aware the Defence Secretary didn’t appear to be clearing up the questions any further, Louise continued: "So just to be clear, you don’t know that it was originally a loan from a Conservative party donor?"
"No, what I’m saying is the PM… what I do know is the PM has paid for it from his money, and that’s it," the frustrated guest snapped back. "I mean all the rest is speculation and to be brutally honest who pays for the PM’s flat? It’s the PM who pays for his flat, and you know I’m the Defence Secretary and I’m here focusing on our aircraft carriers.
"You can ask me all day about do I know how the flat has been paid for. The PM has been clear and that’s it."
"I have to ask you again, if it was a loan, a donation in the first instance, it should have been declared," Louise pushed on, refusing to back down.
"At all times the PM has complied with the rules, he’s paid for it out of his own money," the guest declared once more, and viewers were impressed by the presenter’s determination.
"Could Ben Wallace look or sound any more uncomfortable with the Downing Street refurbishment questions? A total sh**show. They know they’ve been caught with their hand in the till. #BBCBreakfast," one viewer claimed.
Another wrote: "Wallace avoiding the question about whether the PM's flat was originally a loan from Tory Donors. He is squirming and getting incredibly testy under sustained questioning from @louiseminchin I think it is clear there is something here. #BBCBreakfast #TorySleaze #BorisJohnson."
"Fantastic interview, he is bluffing to cover his boss's a**e. #bbcbreakfast," a third commented.
While a fourth posted: "Unconvincing stuttering defence minister is completely unconvincing. #BBCBreakfast."
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While many praised Louise’s bold questioning, others became fed up with the repetitiveness.
"Very tedious cr***ing on by Louise about the PM flat do-up," one viewer complained. "He has said his view, now stop pumping him on #bbcbreakfast."
Another said: "He's the defence minister. He says he doesn't know. Are you listening Minchin? #bbcbreakfast," as another watcher added: "Good on Ben Wallace for calling the media out on their unsubstantiated Chinese whisper journalism! #BBCBreakfast."
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One.
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