Eleven things we learned from Theresa May's first ever Facebook Live Q&A

Jamie Roberton

Former Health and Science Producer

  • No avoiding disability benefit issue

On the same day she was berated by a voter who has suffered cuts to her disability benefit, Theresa May was bombarded by questions about the issue during the live Q&A.

Viewers shared their personal stories and challenged Mrs May to amend the controversial policy.

She admitted there had been "issues" for some people but did not disclose whether she would make any changes.

  • PM hints at NHS cash boost

Theresa May defended her government's record on the NHS, insisting it was safe in Conservative hands.

She argued that the health service was already enjoying record levels of funding but hinted it could receive an extra cash injection if she wins power on June 8.

"You will have to wait for the manifesto," she said.

  • May embraces a new platform

The prime minister during her live Q&A with ITV News viewers. Credit: ITV News

Theresa May has been accused of hiding from anyone who isn't a vetted, "strong and stable" placard-waving Tory during her carefully-choreographed campaign.

But the prime minister has changed tack over the last few days and seemed to relish her first ever Facebook Live.

"Thank you for the opportunity; this really is something new," the prime minister told Robert Peston, before she spent 50 minutes responding to occasionally awkward questions - although she did not have time to answer all 40,000 of them.

Let's hope the 10,000 angry emojis that flashed across the screen didn't put her off.

  • Jeremy from Islington asks a question

A smile crossed Mrs May's face as soon as Robert Peston said he had a question from "Jeremy Corbyn of Islington".

The Labour leader could not resist using the forum to challenge the prime minister to a live TV debate.

But Mrs May dismissed the invitation, arguing that it was more important to take questions directly from voters who would not benefit from "seeing politicians having a go at each other".

Mr Corbyn retaliated by accusing the prime minister of "weak leadership".

  • I've never been fox hunting - but will offer free vote, says May

The prime minister disclosed that she had never been fox hunting but pledged her support for restoring the controversial practice.

She argued it was not the most important issue facing the electorate but promised to allow MPs to decide whether to "bring it back".

"My view is that it should be a free vote for parliament so members of parliament individually should be able to exercise their view on this matter."

  • I've been the victim of nasty fake news, reveals May

Mrs May claimed she was enthusiastic about new methods of campaigning in the social media, citing the ITV News Facebook Live Q&A.

But she admitted she had personally faced problems with "fake news".

"During the Conservative Party leadership campaign, I started to see some pretty nasty videos sent round about me," she recalled.

  • PM insists youngsters matter - but rules out lowering voting age

Mrs May said this election - which she described as the "most crucial in my lifetime" - is about young people's futures as she rebutted accusations that she does not care about the next generation.

So does she believe the voting age should be lowered to 16?

"No I don't," the prime minister said, insisting people should be able to cast a ballot only once they leave education or training at 18.

  • May avoids her favourite phrase

Those bored stiff by the prime minister's incessant use of the words "strong and stable leadership" would have been relieved that Mrs May only uttered her favourite phrase once during the event.

Our political editor congratulated the prime minister on her restraint.

  • May rules out burka ban

The prime minister was unequivocal in her response when asked why she hasn't followed certain European countries in banning the burka.

"Because I think it's up to a woman to decide how she dresses."

  • PM opens up about diabetes

The prime minister was incredibly candid when asked about her experience dealing with type 1 diabetes.

Mrs May revealed that she injects insulin "four or five times a day" before she urged fellow sufferers not to let the condition hold them back.

"You just get into a routine and build that into your daily life," she said. "Being a diabetic doesn't stop you from doing anything."

  • Sir Nigel Farage suggestion prompts laughter

"Do the right thing and give Nigel Farage a knighthood," urged one viewer - prompting laughter from Mrs May.

She refused to comment but it's fair to say Mr Farage won't be readying his best suit.