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PM is ‘more evasive’ than her predecessors

1st May 19 10:03 am

Researchers have said that Theresa May is more evasive in responding to questions than David Cameron, John Major and Margaret Thatcher.

Academics at the University of York found in the course two interviews once she became prime minister in 2016, four during the 2017 general election, May only answered 27% of questions put to her.

Cameron answered 34% of questions during the 2015 general election, and Sir John Major in the 1992 election and Margaret Thatcher in 1987 answered 39% of questions.

Professor Peter Bull, of the university’s department of psychology who led the research said, May is even more evasive during prime minister’s questions.

Over 23 PMQs in 2016 and 2017 May only answered just 11% from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Cameron came in at 21% over 20 PMQs.

Professor Bull said May has developed a series of “covert” techniques to avoid a question.

Professor Bull said, “Of particular interest are her distinctive techniques of ignoring awkward questions, without even acknowledging that a question has been asked, which accounts for 43% of her evasive responses.

“She also responds to her own modified versions of questions, not to the version that was originally posed, 26% of her evasive responses are of this kind.

“If Theresa May fails to answer questions, or even to acknowledge that she is not answering questions, to what extent can she be believed?

“The consequent decline in her political credibility and authority has arguably played an important ongoing role in the current Brexit crisis.”

Such equivocation may well result in undermining trust, with a lack of political dialogue that could have contributed to the Brexit crisis.

May’s official spokesman said in response, “The Prime Minister has spent very significant amounts of time in the House of Commons, not just at Prime Minister’s Questions but throughout the Brexit process, answering the questions of MPs.”

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