Following last week’s full-frontal assault on Coalition minister Vince Cable, this week’s Question Time saw another Coalition minister, Grant Shapps, fall victim to a rampaging bullock, being questioned and interrupted by David Dimbleby far more than any of the other guests (even David Starkey). The figures for this will appear in the comments field below.
Well, you might say, both Mr Shapps and Dr Cable are government spokesmen, so David Dimbleby is right to challenge them more than guests from the opposition parties – except that DD didn’t challenge government ministers more than opposition party guests when Labour were in power. Quite the reverse.
Here’s a list of the guests who were interrupted most frequently by DD in relation to the length they were allowed to speak (yes, interruption coefficients!) in the months leading up to the general election. (There are a few joint first prizes):
29/4 Liam Fox (C) /Vince Cable (LD)
22/4 William Hague (C)
15/4 Nigel Farage (UKIP)
8/4 Theresa May (C)
1/4 Ken Clarke (C)
25/3 Liam Byrne (L)/Baroness Warsi (C)
18/3 Caroline Lucas (Green)/Andrew Lansley (C)
11/3 Jo Swinson (LD)
4/3 Boris Johnson (C)
25/2 Nigel Farage (UKIP)
18/2 Lynne Featherstone (LD)
11/2 Jim Allister (TUV)
4/2 Theresa May (C)
28/1 Jenny Tonge (LD)/Nigel Lawson (C)
21/1 Caroline Spelman (C)
Full details of the statistics behind this list can be found here.
By political party, that results in these totals for the award for Most Interrupted Panelist:
Conservatives – 10
Liberal Democrats – 4
UKIP – 2
TUV – 1
Greens – 1
…and for the government of the day…
Labour – 1
I wish David Dimbleby a long and happy retirement!