Former editor of the Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore, has commented on Kate Andrews' appearance on Question Time in his weekly column:
There is no more frightening experience of British culture than having to appear on BBC Question Time for the first time. Although the programme expresses our love of free speech, it also draws on our traditional enthusiasm for other sports, like bear-baiting and bare-knuckle fighting. I first went on the show about 30 years ago, when I was in my twenties, and was terrified. So imagine my sympathy last week when Kate Andrews, of the Adam Smith Institute, was invited to appear. She had bigger obstacles to overcome than I did in the Eighties, because she is even younger than I was then, is American and was up against Ken Livingstone.
Kate is a friend of my children, and so, as a grizzled veteran of such combats, I warned her how Ken, under the guise of south-London geniality, would find time to patronise her sex, insult her nationality, and make himself out as the moderate and her as the extremist. But I had failed to predict the full extent of his effrontery. On the programme, Ken explained that it was not Islamist extremists who set off the 7/7 bombs in London in 2005, but Tony Blair’s policy towards Iraq which “killed 52 Londoners”. The actual bombers “gave their lives,” in Ken’s view, and “said what they believed”. At the same time, by pretending that he wanted “boots on the ground” in Syria from countries all over the world, Ken persuaded a significant proportion of the audience that he was the one who was truly tough on terrorism.
To her credit, Kate saw through this at once and interrupted him (a brave thing to do on one’s first Question Time) to point out succinctly how morally vile he was being. Perhaps it took a bright young foreigner not to fall for the old scoundrel. We British too often mistake a creepy chappie for a cheeky one.