Stepping in in Theresa May’s place despite difficult personal circumstances, Amber Rudd did her best to hold her own during the BBC’s live election debate on Wednesday night.
Representing the Conservative Party in May’s absence, Amber Rudd clashed with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and her other political rivals in the BBC Election Debate which was streamed live from Cambridge. Chaired by Mishal Husain, the seven senior party politicians faced questions on a range of topics from the UK’s defence strategy to the different party approaches towards tackling issues related to the environment and global warming.
Rudd went head-to-head with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, UKIP’s Paul Nuttall, SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson, Green co-leader Caroline Lucas and Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood.
Prime Minister Theresa May received widespread criticism for her refusal to take part in the televised debate. In an attempt to defend her absence, May said she would rather take questions whilst “meeting people” on the campaign trail instead of “squabbling” with other politicians on TV.
In her place, Home Secretary Amber Rudd did her best to answer questions from the audience and respond to criticism of her party and their policies from the rival party politicians present. Rudd was previously Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change before becoming Home Secretary for the Conservatives in 2016.
Last night, unknown to the thousands of viewers watching at home, Amber Rudd stood up to represent her Party despite the fact that her father Tony had passed away just 48 hours before the televised debate.
Tony Rudd, who died on Monday at the age of 93, reportedly took “great pride” in his daughter and had been planning to watch her on the BBC election debate with the rest of the family.
A family friend told the Telegraph that Amber Rudd had made the difficult decision to still take part in the debate despite the sudden loss of her father as she ‘felt sure he would have wanted her to carry on.’
Theresa May’s right hand woman has had a difficult year balancing work commitments with her personal life, as the death of her father comes less than six months after her ex-husband AA Gill died of cancer. Rudd had two children with him.
Viewers of last night’s debate shared their admiration of Rudd on social media today after discovering that her performance during the debate came after such a difficult family bereavement. However, despite Rudd stepping up under difficult circumstances, the Conservative Party couldn’t esscape harsh criticism of PM Theresa May at the same time for refusing to take part in the debate.
A family friend of Amber Rudd’s added, “It would have been madness for her (not to take part) – it’s just not what her father would have wanted.
“The family got together on Tuesday night with all the children to celebrate their father’s life. Their father took such pride in her he would have loved it. He was actually looking forward to watching this debate.”