UK Labour chief challenges May to debate as race tightens

Alicia Cross
June 2, 2017

Mr Corbyn said: "I will be taking part in tonight's debate because I believe we must give people the chance to hear and engage with the leaders of the main parties before they vote".

May had made it clear that she would not partake in the debates and prefers "taking questions and meeting people" directly rather than "squabbling" with other politicians.

But Ms Rudd defended Mrs May's decision to miss the debate, stating: "Part of being a good leader is having a good strong team around you and I'm proud and delighted to be here representing the Conservative party and the Prime Minister".

In the televised debate, Rudd accused Corbyn of having drawn up a "fantasy wishlist" manifesto paid for with a magic "money tree", and noting that most of his MPs backed a failed coup against him a year ago.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, UKIP's Paul Nuttall, SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson, Green co-leader Caroline Lucas and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood will participate. "She won't turn up to these debates because her campaign of soundbites is falling apart".

Corbyn this morning challenged May to "come and have a chat" ahead of the debate in Cambridge after a last-minute decision to take part, calling her absence "weak".

Labour had said that Mr Corbyn would not attend unless Mrs May was there.

Corbyn began by repeating his campaign motto, saying the election was about "whether we want a country for the many or just a few?"

Theresa May is urging voters to back her plans for Brexit amid further signs of trouble in her General Election campaign.

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"Jeremy Corbyn with his money tree, wish list manifesto and no plan for Brexit or Theresa May with her record of delivery", she argued.

Mr Corbyn hit back with a warning that Mrs May's hardline approach to Brexit risked Britain crashing out of the European Union without any deal at all. "We won't roll the dice".

Ms Rudd said the Tories had taken low earners out of income tax and had increased the amount of money paid out in disability benefits.

For weeks, the Conservatives have been trying to make their "coalition of chaos" attack line hit home.

"That is what happens if you demonise immigrants", he said.

"And what we know in this election is that the only other person that can be prime minister in seven days' time is simply not up to the job. She might be out there sizing up your house to pay for your social care".

She replied: "The truth is we are fighting to win and we are fighting to win with a majority".

He said the Tories are "weak and wobbly" and can not be believed following the PM's U-turn on the so-called "dementia tax" and her failure to set out how many pensioners stand to lose their winter fuel payments, policies which have been widely credited as a major factor in the narrowing of the polls.

Ms Lucas, in her closing remarks, said Britain was at a crossroads between tolerance and openness or turning inwards towards "isolation and hate".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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