Poll shows 72% of readers believe Tories turned UK into laughing stock

BBC Breakfast reviews politics in 2022

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Earlier this week, Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle described the last year in Westminster as the “strangest of years” while reflecting on the political turmoil which saw three Prime Ministers in a matter of months. Sir Hoyle agreed the UK became an international “laughing stock”, a judgement shared by 72 percent of Express.co.uk readers, a new poll has found. 

Sir Lindsay told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme the collapse of two governments in quick succession made him feel like his role was the only point of “continuity” and said he had “never seen anything like it before”. 

Boris Johnson’s premiership ended in July after a wave of resignations made his position untenable. A Tory leadership campaign over the summer elected Liz Truss into office but her time in Downing Street lasted just six weeks. Her fall from power following the disastrous mini-budget led to runner-up Rishi Sunak’s appointment.

Sir Lindsay explained: “It was like a revolving door of ministers. I’ve never seen anything like it – it was bizarre. We never knew who was going to be at the dispatch box.”

He agreed with the suggestion the Conservative Party had made the UK an international laughing stock. He said: “It did. I think it’s the disappointment of what went on, the way it went along, you know, and people wondering what was happening to our democracy.”

In a poll that ran from 12.45pm on Wednesday, December 28, to 9.30am on Friday, December 30, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Was Britain made a laughing stock this year as Lindsay Hoyle has suggested?”

Overall, 4,980 votes were cast with the vast majority of readers, 72 percent (3,568 people) answering “yes” Britain was made a laughing stock.

Whereas 28 percent (1,380 people) said “no” the political turmoil did not and a further 32 people said they did not know either way.

Hundreds of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers reflected on the UK’s political landscape.

Many agreed with Sir Lindsay’s comments, with username Cattle Prod writing: “We have lost all credibility as a serious global influencer.”

Similarly, reflecting on the last year, username NItty said: “I think this country has gone to the dogs never mind a laughing stock.”

Meanwhile, username pinkchill66 wrote: “We have always been a laughing stock, so nothing new.”

And username kurkku agreed, commenting: “England has been a laughing stock much longer.”


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However, a minority of readers disagreed with Sir Lindsay, and did not think that the UK became an international laughing stock during the political turmoil. Username upsinc said: “No, believe it or not, most countries are more interested in their own affairs, and Britain isn’t the first story on their nightly news bulletins.”

Likewise, username tabitha remarked: “Other countries have had just as many problems, strikes and disasters as us. And it is us making too much of what has happened in the UK. So I do not believe that people are laughing at us. We should stop being so hard on ourselves.”

While username Caller said: “Well not a laughing stock but there was concern internationally that the country was and is in complete disarray, and virtually incapable of doing anything positive.”

And username ValBrooker added: “I completely disagree. Is it sensible to keep something that isn’t working and or detrimental, or replace it? We would be an international laughing stock for sticking with something broken, not for mending it.”

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