Can't Answer? Won't Answer? An Analysis of Equivocal Responses by Theresa May in Prime Minister's Questions

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate whether typologies devised for the analysis of equivocation in broadcast political interviews could be usefully extended to the analysis of equivocation in Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs). The study was based on the 23 sessions of PMQs held during Theresa May's first term of office (July 2016 to April 2017). Results showed that May's mean reply rate to questions from Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn was just 11%, and that her distinctive equivocation style was essentially covert, characterised primarily by ignoring questions, modifying questions, stating or implying that she had already answered questions and acknowledging questions without answering them.

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APA

Bull, P., & Strawson, W. (2020). Can’t Answer? Won’t Answer? An Analysis of Equivocal Responses by Theresa May in Prime Minister’s Questions. Parliamentary Affairs, 73(2), 429–449. https://doi.org/10.1093/pa/gsz003

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