Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis has been left so frustrated he threw his head into his hands during a discussion about immigration on Question Time.
From 2005 until 2013, Theo, 63, appeared as one of the dragons on the reality series after making a majority of his fortune in the retail sector.
In the years since he’s appeared on the show again to fill in for other dragons, as well as on Question Time on several occasions.
On this week’s episode, the entrepreneur was left exasperated after Conservative MP Laura Trott, the parliamentary undersecretary at the department of work and pensions, dodged a question about migration from presenter Fiona Bruce nine times.
It comes as net migration levels reached a record high with figures from the Office for National Statistics showing overall migration into the UK for 2022 had reached 606,000.
When asked to explain why her government was failing on immigration, Trott struggled to say how her party were going to keep migration numbers down after 13 years in power.
In response to the first question on the show – What is the right level of immigration? – Trott said the Tories had ‘a plan to bring immigration down’ including the small boats crackdown.
She added: ‘The last thing I’ll say is you can’t trust Labour on this one. They went into the last election saying they wanted freedom of movement. As recently as 2020, Keir Starmer said he wanted to defend free movement.’
However, her response clearly frustrated Paphitis.
‘I’ve never been (so) disappointed when a politician comes on, gets asked a question, and the first thing they do rather than answering a question is attack the opposition. It was a question that needed an answer.’
The conversation later turned to work visas, with the recent figures showing that 1.47 million were issued in the year to March 2023, up 53% from last year.
Bruce asked Trott repeatedly who currently on work visas would the Conservative government prefer not to be coming to the UK.
‘It’s really important we have more training for people in the UK,’ she replied, which left Bruce frustrated as she suggested the example of lorry drivers given would not make much of a dent in the figure.
When Trott said she would like ‘lots of jobs to be done by British people’, her co-panellist put his head in his hands.
This was pointed out by Bruce, who said: ‘He has got his head in his hands so we’re not getting anywhere.’
Some watching along at home also weighed in.
‘Well done Theo for calling out Laura Trott for not answering the question and playing party politics,’ one viewer posted on Twitter.
‘Theo Paphitis telling as it is and speaking common sense,’ someone else wrote.
When bidding farewell to Dragons’ Den a decade ago, Paphitis said it had ‘not been an easy decision or one I have taken lightly’.
‘But with the workload involved in growing my exciting, successful new lingerie brand Boux Avenue, along with my recent purchase of the Robert Dyas retail chain and the running of the 240 Ryman stationery shops, the time felt right to give up my seat, stop breathing fire and allow someone else to enjoy the wonderful experience of being a Dragon,’ he added.
Question Time airs Thursdays at 10.45pm on BBC One.
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First appear at Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis puts his head in his hands listening to Tory MP on Question Time