TORY MP Greg Hands was humiliated on BBC Question Time last night as he failed to demonstrate an accurate understanding of the term “loan”. 

Hands, the UK Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth stated that in February, the Chancellor Exchequer launched a “really important package” which included a £200 discount on energy bills.

However, presenter Fiona Bruce corrected him, stating that the £200 is “of course” a loan.

Hands replied: “It’s not a loan. It’s a discount”, to which Bruce pointed out “But you have to pay it back? You’re not being given it, you have to pay it back. It sounds like a loan.”

This lead to an eruption of laughter from the audience, while Hands flustered. 

“You’re all shouting. What are you all shouting?” Bruce asked the audience, to which they collectively shouted back in unison: “IT’S A LOAN.”

Still, Hands tried to defend his error in vain. He said: “It’s taken back through a levy. It’s not a loan it doesn’t create an obligation on the individual to repay.”

To which Bruce replied: “But they still have to pay it back, what’s the difference?” Hands then switched tact, claiming: “The individual does not have an obligation to repay.”

However, when Bruce queried whether “we don’t have to pay it back if we don’t want to”, Hands simply replied: “No, I’m not saying that”, leading to a further eruption of laughter from the audience.

Fellow panel member Emily Thornberry, Labour MP chimed in with bemusement: “If you don’t heat yourself you don’t have to pay it back? That’s it isn’t it? That’s what you’re saying.”

This comical exchange followed a perplexing statement from Hands in which he stated that despite his earlier statements that fracking has no place in the British economy, the UK government are “keeping their options open” on fracking. 

He further confirmed that they have asked the British Geological Survey to see if the “science has changed”. 

The National:

The “godfather of climate science”, James Hansen, has previously stated: “The science is crystal clear, we need to phase out fossil fuels starting with the most damaging, the unconventional fossil fuels such as tar sands and fracking.”

Meanwhile, the 2021 IPCC report issued a “code red for humanity” if urgent action is not taken to reduce the world’s climate emissions. 

Despite this, Hands today stated the Scottish Government should be “more supportive” of the North Sea oil and gas sector.

On Thursday, Holyrood’s Energy Secretary Michael Matheson said: “Our position is very clear on nuclear, we don’t believe nuclear needs to be part of future energy mix here in Scotland and we have got no intention of taking forward nuclear developments.”

He added: “My concern is if the UK Government are so wedded to developing further nuclear sites, not only is there environmental risk associated with that but it is likely to drive up the costs of people’s household bills.

“Renewables are actually much, much cheaper and dropping in price and will help to lower people’s bills instead.”