channel 4 Viewers crowned Tom Tugendhat the winner of last night’s Tory leadership debate after quoting Harry Potter’s Albus Dumbledore before mistakenly thanking one NHS Worker because he gave him his two children.
MP Tonbridge and Malling, 49, impressed as the five remaining leadership candidates addressed a studio audience for a first live televised debate on Channel 4.
The contestants were asked questions by members of the audience and host Krishnan Guru-Murthy on a variety of topics including the cost of living Crisis and whether the outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson is trustworthy.
Moderator Krishnan Guru-Murthy opened the debate and asked each individual Tory MP why the public should trust each of them.
When Mr Tugendhat had a chance to reply, he quoted a quote from the Headmaster of Hogwarts.
He said, ‘It’s easy to stand up to your enemies, it’s harder to stand up to your friends.’
He also commended the NHS for the impact it had on his comrades wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan and said he was “eternally grateful”.
“They also gave me two children,” he replied when asked about healthcare by a woman in the audience, before hastily adding, “You personally, of course, didn’t.”
A quick poll conducted by Opinium, a strategic insights agency, also confirmed Mr. Tugendhat as the most impressive performer.
Of more than 1,000 average voters surveyed, 36 percent believed that he had “performed best” in the debate.
MP Tonbridge and Malling, 49, impressed during the first live debate on Channel 4 on Friday night
Krishnan Guru-Murthy moderated the debate with the candidates running to be the next prime minister
Lead candidate Mr Tugendhat with his wife Anissia Tugendhat arrive at Here East Studios in Stratford, east London on Friday
Mr Tugendhat also received applause from the audience as Boris Johnson’s tenure overshadowed the start of the debate.
The candidates were asked if the outgoing prime minister was an honest man.
Mr Tugendhat, a longtime critic of Mr Johnson, was the only candidate who was quick to reply “no”.
He spoke while acknowledging that “confidence in politics has collapsed, confidence in our party has collapsed,” adding, “I have held a mirror up to many of our actions and those in our party, those in our leadership positions, asked to ask himself, “Does the public really expect this?”
“Are you serving the people of the UK or are you serving your career? Because that’s the real question tonight. That is the real question for all of us.”
When asked about Mr Johnson, former Equality Secretary Kemi Badenoch was the first to answer, simply replying: “Sometimes.”
Ms Mordaunt then added: “There were some really serious issues and I think he paid a price for that.”
Former Chancellor Mr Sunak, whose resignation with ex-Health Secretary Sajid Javid sparked Mr Johnson’s ouster, said there were “a number of reasons” why he gave up his role.
Viewers took to social media to praise Mr. Tugendhat, crowning his performance as the most impressive after the live debate.
One said: “The farce of this Tory leadership debate is that Tugenhadt is smashing it but he will be more unpopular among MPs for being brutally honest.”
Another added: “Tom Tugendhat comes across very well. In summary, without engaging in spiteful arguments. It pains me to say it, but he’s quite likeable.”
A third said: “Just watched the paint dry for 90 minutes. Tom Tugendhat won this whole debate with a quick shake of the head.’
A fourth tweeted: “Tom Tugendhat absolutely wrecked the rest of the field tonight.
“An honest, admirable man while quoting Albus Dumbledore and ridiculing Boris Johnson. And he’s my MP. Excellent display.’
Mr Sunak defended his record in No. 11, saying: “I don’t think going into bad debt and more debt is responsible right now.”
His comments came after Ms Truss attacked the former Chancellor during the debate
Ms Mordaunt has also been harshly questioned by her rivals about her attitude towards women’s rights and transgender people
Former Equality Minister Ms Badenoch was pictured during the live television debate on Channel 4 on Friday night
The former army officer has suggested military planners could help address the backlog because “we’re trying to bring leadership and efficiency to processes, we’re trying to bring order to a sometimes confusing situation.”
He also pointed to his “track record as a leader” in a final pitch to viewers as to why he should be the next Tory leader and Prime Minister.
He told the debate: “The country is going through a crisis at home and challenges abroad. What we see around the world is division and disunity and we can bring people together.
“What we can do is we can reverse that. Now I have a track record as a leader: I’ve led operations and I’ve led Parliament and now I want to lead the UK.’
It came after viewers previously poked fun at his Dumbledore reference and quickly took to social media Mark his wizard related answer.
One viewer said: “Who else noticed Tom Tugendhat quoting Albus Dumbledore? It’s easy to hold your own against your enemies, but much harder to hold your own against your friends.. 50 house points for Gryffindor! lol’
Another added: “Well who had ‘quote Dumbledore’ on the Conservative leadership debate bingo card?”
Mr Sunak introduced himself as he arrived for the TV debate at Here East Studios in Stratford, east London
A third said: “I didn’t think Dumbledore would be a scriptwriter for Team #Tugendhat which was going to be an interesting #C4LeaderDebate.”
Mr Tugendhat also said that as Prime Minister he would present a global “energy resilience plan” to ensure Britain does not lose out by reducing “dirty coal” from its industries.
He added: “What I’ve been talking about is things like offshore carbon pricing to make sure we don’t reduce carbon emissions here in the UK and make sure jobs go to China.
“What we don’t want is British workers being punished for higher standards, steel industries closed because other people are using dirty coal and we’re not allowed to.
“What we need to make sure is that we set the rules and don’t let others beat them with cheaper prices.
“What we have to make sure is that we have standards everywhere, because all over the world the carbon is going into the same atmosphere and polluting the same planet.
“So what we need to make sure is that we’re delivering globally, and that’s why I’m talking about an energy resilience plan.”
Elsewhere in the debate, Ms Truss, who is third in the race to succeed Boris Johnson, also pledged to reverse a proposed corporate tax hike next year from 19% to 25% – at a cost of £16bn Pound.
Defending his record in No. 11, Mr Sunak said: “I don’t think it is responsible at the moment to go into unsecured borrowing and more debt, which will only worsen inflation, it will make the problem longer. ‘
Blaming the Bank of England, Ms Truss said: “We have inflation because of our monetary policy, that we haven’t been tough enough on the money supply, that’s how I would tackle that issue.”
But the former chancellor told her: “Borrowing from inflation is not a plan, it’s a fairy tale.”
Ms Truss replied: “I think it’s wrong to raise taxes.”