Boris Johnson performed a ‘wide man splay’, Rory Stewart ‘sneered’ and Michael Gove ‘toned down his theatrical body language’, a body language expert has revealed, as she spots who really has the power in the race to be Prime Minister.
Initial reaction to the debate was there were no clear winners, with viewers critical of the format of contest, as well as the candidates ignoring questions and interrupting each other.
But body language expert Judi James has revealed who is really making the power play for the top job.
Judi James said that ‘Boris sat squarely on his stool, performing the widest man-splay’
She told MailOnline: ‘As the other would-be next PMs sat legs-akimbo on their Westlife tribute-act stools it was Rory Stewart positioning himself as the daring outsider with his tie off and his feet placed firmly on the ground.
‘He rocked, he sneered with a fully raised upper lip, and he laughed and shook his head as the others debated.
‘At times his head even dropped forward as though he was in mourning for politics in general.
‘His very different body language rituals made him look like a silent threat aimed at unnerving the others but it was a more confident Javid who appeared to play him at his own game, throwing a direct question at him towards the end that had Rory fast-blinking and even verbally swerving for a change.
Judi James said Jeremy Hunt (pictured left) ‘seemed slightly rattled by the bar stool arrangement’, and Gove (pictured right) ‘toned down his theatrical body language performance’
Judi James said Rory Stewart (pictured left) ‘sneered with a fully raised upper lip, and he laughed and shook his head as the others debated’. She added that Javid instigated handshakes at the end of the show (pictured right)
‘Gove had toned down his theatrical body language performance from Sunday and opted for a raised-eyebrow look of authority instead.
Johnson, Gove and Hunt ignore each other after BBC debate
by Joe Middleton
The end of the BBC debate highlighted provided a fascinating insight into the relationships between the five men vying to become Prime Minister.
Javid and Stewart were warm and embraced, both smiling and having a brief chat, shortly after the BBC debate ended.
But Gove, Hunt and Johnson showed they are focused and ready for the next stage.
Johnson promptly fastened the buttons on his suit jacket and strode out the studio, not paying any attention to his fellow leadership hopefuls.
While Hunt and Gove, who are playing catch up in the race for the leadership, followed suit and appeared stony-faced, before leaving.
‘He used two raised index fingers to try to conduct Emily when she interrupted him and his constant precision gestures or ‘thumb of power’ gestures looked aimed at implying a sense of leadership and authority.
‘As the others put in such high-energy performances the debate converted into and all-out argument at times, Boris sat squarely on his stool, performing the widest man-splay with a tie long enough to suggest it was bought solely with that alpha pose in mind.
‘He placed his hands on his knees and when he did speak he employed two great clunking fists like a boxer finishing off his opponent.
‘His main ploy was to ignore interruptions or questions from Emily and also to avoid eye contact with anyone in the room.
‘He rocked in his seat and threw his hands up in the air when asked about his history of saying the wrong thing and the power of words but overall he spoke as though the job of PM was his and used several agreements and collusive gestures to appear to invite unity from the entire group.
‘Boris is Boris though and at one point he slapped his knees and fiddled with his cuffs as though keen to get away quickly.
‘Hunt seemed slightly rattled by the bar stool arrangement and his air of calm, charm and gravitas seemed to have evaporated from Sunday’s debate.
‘The group looked as though they might break into a chorus of ‘I have a dream’ at any moment but the show ended instead with Javid taking the leadership role by instigating the handshakes and arm-pats with his colleagues.’