John White, who failed to win a seat for the Conservatives in the Glasgow North East ward in the 2022 local elections, was twice called upon by BBC host Stephen Jardine to speak.
The first time the “young man in the white t-shirt” – White – was called, another audience member spoke instead. They said they felt that no candidate would stand up for working-class people in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election.
But Jardine moved on and again called on the “young man in the white t-shirt”.
White went on: “You know, it’s the SNP that’s in charge of Scottish education, it’s the SNP that’s in charge of Scottish justice, it’s the SNP that’s in charge of the NHS in Scotland.”
At this point, mutters from the stage can be heard, with one person questioning if White isn’t a Tory activist.
Flynn then said: “I think I recognise the young man as a prominent Conservative activist.”
Jardine asked if that was the case, which led White to say: “I’ve still got an opinion. I’ve still got an opinion and I’ve still got a vote, and it’s voters that keep you in your job.”
Flynn said he was not trying to discredit that, as White added: “Just answer the question.”
Later on X/Twitter, White was more open about his Tory credentials. Sharing a clip of the exchange, he wrote: “For all those angry nats looking, proud @ScotTories activist right here! 👋 #bbcdn”
On September 19, one day before his Debate Night appearance, White had shared a photo on social media of himself out campaigning with Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross and party candidate Thomas Kerr in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election.
“Out with @Douglas4Moray in Cambuslang for @CllrTKerr,” he wrote. “People are fed up with the same old mantra of the SNP and Labour. They want change – only @ScotTories are offering that.”
Answering the Tory campaigner on Debate Night, Flynn said that 95% of school leavers in Scotland go on to positive destinations, before arguing that Brexit’s impact had made it much harder to tackle staffing issues within the NHS and care sector.