During her interviews, UK Prime Minister Theresa May proved “more evasive” than any of her last three Tory predecessors as Prime Minister, including David Cameron, John Major and Margaret Thatcher, a study has revealed.
The research, which was conducted by Professor Peter Bull of the University of York’s department of psychology, found that in the course of two interviews after she became Prime Minister in 2016 and four ones during the 2017 general election, May only answered 27 percent of the questions.
Cameron answered 34 percent of the questions in the 2015 general election, while Major and Thatcher managed to shield 39 percent of the questions each in the 1992 election and the 1985 election, respectively.
During the 23 PMQ (prime minister questions) session in the UK parliament between 2016 and 2017, May reportedly answered only 11 percent of the questions from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, while Cameron answered 21 percent of Corbyn’s questions during the course of 20 PMQs.
Professor Bull, for his part, referred to what he described as May’s “covert” techniques to avoid a question.
“Of particular interest are her distinctive techniques of ignoring awkward questions, without even acknowledging that a question has been asked, which accounts for 43% of her evasive responses”, he pointed out when presenting his findings to the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in Harrogate.
This may have contributed significantly to the ongoing Brexit gridlock, according to Bull.
“If Theresa May fails to answer questions, or even to acknowledge that she is not answering questions, to what extent can she be believed? The consequent decline in her political credibility and authority has arguably played an important ongoing role in the current Brexit crisis”, he concluded.
This comes after the EU agreed to delay Britain's departure a second time, until the end of October, as May is struggling to get her party's MPs to support her Brexit deal.
The UK was scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March; however, May was granted an extension until 12 April and then 31 October, as British lawmakers failed to support the deal she had earlier negotiated with Brussels.