'Shame On You': Question Time Audience Members Slam Rishi Sunak For Refusing To Rule Out Leaving ECHR

Rishi Sunak faced cries of “shame” from a Question Time audience after he refused to rule out taking the UK out of the European Court of Human Rights.

The prime minister endured a tough half-hour grilling on a special election edition of the programme on BBC1.

Among the topics covered was the PM’s controversial plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda as a way of deterring migrants from trying to cross the Channel on small boats.

Attempts to get flights off the ground have so far failed, in part because it has fallen foul of ECHR rulings.

One woman in the audience asked Sunak: “Are you really considering leaving the ECHR to push forward your Rwanda policy, which let’s be honest, is devoid of strategic thinking and is just inhumane.”

Sunak replied: “I am crystal clear. Everything we are doing is compliant with our international obligations, but if a foreign court, including the European court, forces me to choose between our country’s national security and membership of that court, I’m going to choose this country’s national security every single time.”

Another member of the audience told Sunak: “There’s only two other countries in the world that don’t subscribe to the ECHR - Russia and Belarus.”

The PM replied: “Sir, with the greatest respect, we do not need a foreign court to tell us ...”

The man then interrupted to tell Sunak: “They’re not a foreign court.”

The prime minister continued: “I beieve that everything we’re doing is in compliance with our international obligations. If I’m put in a position where I’m forced to choose ... I’m going to put our country’s national security first every singe time and I make absolutely no apology about that.”

Several members of the audience could then be heard shouting “shame” and “shame on you”.

There appeared to be further shouts of “shame on you” at the end of the programme.

In a surprising moment earlier in the programme, Sunak said young people who refused to carry out National Service could lose their “access to finance” or their driving licences.