A TORY MP was laughed at by the Question Time audience for claiming that messaging from his party was the same as that of top medics.

Chris Philp was appearing on the show as Covid restrictions are being put in place to combat the spread of the Omicron variant.

The panel also included Chris Hopson, chief executive for NHS providers, who told Philp that headlines in the national press showed the stance of Boris Johnson and England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty were opposed to one another.

He added: "I do think it's important that we get clear and consistent messaging right the way across our scientific and medical advisers but also our government ministers."

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Philp, the minister for tech and the digital economy, told the audience to look at what Whitty and Johnson said rather than what is being reported adding that they "said the same thing".

Host Fiona Bruce pulled him up on that point saying: "Let's look at what they said Chris. 

"The Prime Minister said people should think carefully before you go to pubs and restaurants but absolutely said don't cancel parties. Chris Whitty said don't mix with people you don't have to for either work or family things that really matter to you."

Philp said: "Look, the messaging is the same, which is be cautious and exercise judgement. It's pretty clear."

The audience could then be heard laughing at Philp for his attempted defence of the Prime Minister.

Looking confused, Bruce questioned if it is not about language and what people say then what is the reason people are laughing, before asking an audience member for his opinions.

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One man said: "People are laughing because you're clowns.

"You said the minimum sensible measure twice and 100 of your MPs voted against it - what does that say about them? Is that not a mixed message? Going into Parliament without masks, is that not a mixed message? You had to be told to put masks on, what do we do?

"We see you as the Christmas party. You're clowns, that's it."

Boris Johnson endured an open rebellion from 99 Tory MPs earlier this week over new Covid measures for England including the introduction of vaccine certificates for certain venues.

The new measures were voted through as Labour backed them in the Commons vote on Tuesday.

Johnson's leadership has been called into question as details have emerged of multiple festive gatherings last year in Downing Street and elsewhere among members of his party. Many occurred while the rest of the UK was under lockdown measures to curb the spread of the virus.

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