Steerpike

Watch: Claudia Webbe stumped by her own question

Watch: Claudia Webbe stumped by her own question
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The appearance of Dominic Raab before the Foreign Affairs Select Committee yesterday got somewhat overlooked in all the drama about lockdown and football. While the session was fairly routine, with Raab largely able to bat aside questions from committee chairman and No. 10 nemesis Tom Tugendhat, it will mostly be remembered for a moment of sheer vacuousness from Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe.

In an exchange with Raab, Webbe, who was suspended from the Labour party last September after being charged with harassment, tried to put the Foreign Secretary on the spot over Belarus. Unfortunately after a few brief sentences between the two it became apparent that Webbe did not have the slightest clue about the legal action she was calling for, or the reasons she was calling for it....

Webbe: Let me just start with a quick fire one on Belarus as we've just spoken about that. Why does the government not consider legal action to be necessary in the case of Belarus?

Raab: In the case of, I didn't catch the name, why don't we consider sorry, what, legal action, on Belarus?

Webbe: Why does the government not consider legal action to be necessary in the case of Belarus?

Raab: What is the legal action that you're proposing?

Webbe: Well – I mean I'm asking you the question...

Raab: Sorry, I'm trying to clarify –

Webbe: I mean does the government consider legal action to be necessary at all?

Raab: Sorry forgive me, what I was trying to clarify is: who do you want us to sue and where?

Webbe: Well... do you agree that the situation in Belarus requires an intervention from the UK?

As ConservativeHome's Mark Wallace pointed out: 'The good news is that Claudia Webbe has outwitted someone. The bad news is that the person she outwitted is Claudia Webbe.' You can watch the excruciating moment below.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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