Twitter users poke fun at BBC Tory leader debate stage setup

Social media users have mocked the BBC Tory leader debate stage setup, as leadership hopeful Rory Stewart stuns viewers by rolling his eyes and taking off his tie mid-way through the contest.

The circular seating format chosen by the BBC made it look like a boy band was performing, with people on Twitter comparing the Tory leadership candidates to Irish crooners Westlife.

One person said: ‘Westlife look tired #BBCOurNextPM’. And another said: ‘Westlife are looking rough these days.’ 

It wasn’t only the format of the debate which got tongues wagging online, but the behaviour of Rory Stewart, who took of his tie off mid-way through and struck a series of strange poses.

Michael Gove making a point during the debate while Mr Javid listens, and Mr Stewart, stares upwards

Michael Gove making a point during the debate while Mr Javid listens, and Mr Stewart, stares upwards

Michael Gove making a point during the debate while Mr Javid listens, and Mr Stewart, stares upwards

Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart struck a number of poses while sat in his chair for the BBC debate on Tuesday evening

Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart struck a number of poses while sat in his chair for the BBC debate on Tuesday evening

Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart struck a number of poses while sat in his chair for the BBC debate on Tuesday evening

Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart struck a number of poses while sat in his chair for the BBC debate on Tuesday evening

Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart struck a number of poses while sat in his chair for the BBC debate on Tuesday evening

A various stages of the debate, Mr Stewart appears exasperated with the answers given by other leadership hopefuls

A various stages of the debate, Mr Stewart appears exasperated with the answers given by other leadership hopefuls

A various stages of the debate, Mr Stewart appears exasperated with the answers given by other leadership hopefuls

A various stages of the debate, Mr Stewart appears exasperated with the answers given by other leadership hopefuls

A various stages of the debate, Mr Stewart appears exasperated with the answers given by other leadership hopefuls

As well as discarding his tie, the possible future Prime Minister also extended his legs out in front of him.

And at various points throughout the underwhelming debate, rolled his eyes, stared up in the air and dropped his head into his chest.

One user on Twitter said: ‘Rory Stewart has the air of the high school teacher who wants to get ‘down with the kids.

‘No tie and sitting on his chair a bit funny.’

While Mark Wallace from politics website Conservative Home said Mr Stewart took off his tie as a ‘distraction technique.’

And another Twitter user compared Mr Stewart to country music legend Johnny Cash.

He said: ‘Sat there with his tie, legs akimbo on the edge of his stool and head bowed – clearly thinks he’s Johnny Cash.’ 

Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart takes off his tie midway through the debate into who will become the next leader of the party and Prime Minister

Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart takes off his tie midway through the debate into who will become the next leader of the party and Prime Minister

Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart takes off his tie midway through the debate into who will become the next leader of the party and Prime Minister

The no-tie option inspired a number of memes based on The Simpson’s bumbling lawyer Troy McClure.

In a famous clip from the series he tries to trick Apu in court by removing his tie midway through a court case. 

And other’s compared it to a scene in popular comedy show The Thick of It, where the director of communications Stewart Pearson attempts to modernise MP Peter Mannion but getting him to take off his tie and try on a trendy new suit. 

As well as eschewing his tie, a number of other people were fixated on the poses from Mr Stewart.

One person said: ‘It’s a @RoryStewartUK chair power pose.’ 

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