A MEMBER of the Question Time audience clashed with Spectator journalist Rod Liddle on Thursday evening’s show.

It came during a discussion on mental health after Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride told The Daily Telegraph that concern for people’s mental health may have gone “too far”.

During his appearance on the show, Liddle said there “probably is some overdiagnosis” and that he had some “sympathy” with Stride’s comments.

However, he added: “We do have a problem in this country with mental health. It’s not particularly something associated with poverty, it’s something associated with anomie and alienation.

“And we’ve become a far, far less communal country over the last 50, 60 years.”

Host Fiona Bruce then put it to Liddle that he had previously made comments in which he suggested mental health issues were in fact linked to affluence.

He replied: “If you want me to address that rather than the question I’ll do that. Do you know what country has the worst mental health in the world? Monaco – the richest country in the world.

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“And if you go down the list, you will see that the countries with the worst mental health, the most referrals, the most therapists, the most psychiatrists, people who see psychiatrist per capita – Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, we’re in the list as well but a bit further down.

“It’s affluence. There is a link between affluence and the kind of introspection which comes about as a consequence. It’s an introspection which I think comes about because we are a less communal nation than we’ve been before.”

However, later on in the programme, the audience member who initially asked the question hit back at Liddle, explaining she was a therapist at a school.

“Rod, if you think this is nothing to do with poverty. Can I suggest that you live in poverty for six months and I’ll give you a free psychotherapy session and we’ll chat about your mental health. It’s absolutely everything,” the woman said.

Liddle again hit back to say it was nothing to do with poverty.