Johnson & Corbyn Were Asked About Prince Andrew. Their Responses Were Revealing

Photo by Jonathan Hordle//ITV via Getty Images.
Last night saw the first ever televised debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, the two main candidates in the running to become Britain's next prime minister.
Conservative leader Boris Johnson and Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn went head-to-head in an hourlong live debate on ITV before voters head to the polls on 12th December.
It was an opportunity for both politicians to gain momentum in the general election campaign, each hoping that a strong performance could help them gain votes.
Johnson spoke about his plans for Brexit, anti-Semitism in the Labour party and the economic impact of Corbyn's spending plans. The Labour leader, meanwhile, used his opportunity on the podium to cover topics such as austerity, the NHS and Johnson's relationship to the US President Donald Trump.
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Both Johnson and Corbyn were asked about their views on the monarchy, shining a spotlight on the recent Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal involving Prince Andrew. "It needs a bit of improvement," Corbyn said immediately, attracting applause, while Johnson said: "The institution of the monarchy is beyond reproach!"
When asked specifically about the allegations around Prince Andrew, whose relationship with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has been put into question, Corbyn said: "Before we discuss Prince Andrew, I think we should discuss the victims that are there because of what Epstein was doing and I think there are very, very serious questions that must be answered and nobody should be above the law.
"But the primary position ought to be the proper treatment of those people who were victims of the most appalling behaviour by apparently Epstein and many others."
Boris Johnson followed him by saying: "I think all our sympathies should be obviously with the victims of Jeffrey Epstein and the law must certainly take its course."
Viewers at home watching the debate were quick to highlight the differences between Johnson and Corbyn's responses, noting that Boris Johnson's comment about the monarchy being "beyond reproach" suggested something more sinister.
Liam Young tweeted he thought Boris Johnson was saying that "those who are rich, privileged and powerful cannot ever be criticised." Others thought Johnson was too busy defending the royal family and was only prompted by Corbyn to mention Epstein's victims.
Corbyn's pivot to Epstein's victims attracted applause from the audience and while it may have appeared a prudent move for the aspiring prime minister, with some commenting that he will be "the most compassionate we have ever had", others highlighted his lack of support for women elsewhere.
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Jeremy Corbyn has come under fire in the past for his failure to give any of the most senior roles in his shadow cabinet to a woman, and despite announcing policies on women's rights in previous manifestos, he has failed to act on them and properly address and clamp down on the abuse his own female MPs face from his supporters.
The debate marked the first of a long series before the 12th December vote. On Friday, BBC Question Time will see Johnson and Corbyn joined by Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party leaders, Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon.
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