The Labour shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg appeared on Question Time last night, and despite tackling some heavy topics it was his nose which caused the biggest fuss, because of a mark caused by a plaster he was wearing.

Mr Twigg went up against Ken Clark, Diane James, the UKIP candidate for the Eastleigh by-election, Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT union and Melanie Phillips, columnist.

Twitter users speculated that Mr Twigg may have accidentally drawn on his nose with a biro, or even that the mark might be cigarette ash, a twig, or some cake, however the real reason for the marking had been revealed in the Evening Standard the day before.

The Standard reported: “He had a boil on his proboscis and he applied cream and plaster all by himself”, reporting on the nose plaster he was wearing in the House of Commons.

The panel tackles issues such as the Catholic Church, the economy and immigration, however it was Mr Twigg’s nose which caused the furore, some viewers saying they couldn’t concentrate because of it, others saying they would raise their hand to ask him about it, if they were in the audience.

Nonetheless, Andy Dowling ‏took to Twitter and said: “Stephen Twigg could be explaining the meaning of life on #bbcqt and I’d miss it cos I’m distracted by what’s goin on on the end of his nose.”

One microblogger Kris Milovsorov ‏jokingly said: “Stephen Twigg’s nose – scrapping the bottom of the policy barrel? #bbcqt #WHATISWRONGWITHHISNOSE?!”

Comedian Michael Moran said: “In HD Steven Twigg’s nose item is powerfully upsetting.”

While Keith Mackrell ‏asked: “Everyone should be watching question time even if it’s just to work out what’s on the end of Stephen twigg’s nose! #bbcqt #nosemystery”.

Benjamin Cohen, founder of PinkNews tweeted the revelation that Mr Twigg had put a plaster on his nose after having a boil. He said: “If you’re wondering what’s on Stephen Twigg’s nose, it’s a plaster with cream underneath – read in@EveningStandard yesterday #BBCQT”.

One other user said it wasn’t only Mr Twigg’s plaster which was distracting her, but host David Dimbleby’s tie also. Alice Woolley, said: “I can’t concentrate at all because of Stephen Twigg’s nose and David Dimbleby’s tie. #bbcqt“.

Stephen Twigg, the first openly gay man to be elected to the UK’s House of Commons, last year declared his support for marriage equality in the Out4Marriage campaign.

Mr Twigg, the shadow education secretary, was elected as the Labour MP for Enfield Southgate in 1997.

He took his seat in Liverpool West Derby from then defence secretary Michael Portillo, and despite the facial mark, tackled questions from attendees in Dover, last night.

During Question Time a parody Twitter account appeared, named @SteveTwiggsnose, and tweeted: “Finally! My moment in the sun! I’m famous, I tell you! Famous! #bbcqt,” however the account had tweeted only nine times and had only four followers as of Friday.