Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

OFF AIR: Corbyn V May Brexit Debate AXED by ITV and BBC

Syndicate Post image Shadow Chancellor John Mc Donnell speaks with the media during an event at the Millennium Hotel in Glasgow
Charles Bowen | 08 December, 2018, 14:52

ITV said they had scrapped plans for a head-to-head between the two this weekend.

Broadcasting bosses have called off plans to host a live TV Brexit head to head between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn after the squabbling leaders failed to agree on a format.

Labour accused the PM of "running scared" of the clash against Mr Corbyn.

A Labour spokeswoman said Mr Corbyn would still "relish" the opportunity to debate the prime minister, adding: "Labour believed the head-to-head offer from ITV was the most straightforward format".

The decision means that the only programme now due to go ahead on Sunday is to be broadcast on Channel 4, which will show The Real Brexit Debate, featuring "four high-profile politicians" reflecting a range of opinions from across politics.

"Unfortunately, when it came to it, as in the general election a year ago ... the prime minister backed off and refused the head-to-head debate on offer", he said.

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The Labour leader urged Theresa May to try to renegotiate her politically unpopular Brexit deal with the European Union, using stronger language than before.

The broadcaster said it "will tackle the key issues people across the country care about and consider the genuine options left open for the United Kingdom, as opposed to just debating the viewpoints of the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition".

"But the British public will see this for what it is - Theresa May unable to face real scrutiny over her crumbling deal".

On Tuesday, the BBC said it was "disappointed" that it could not come to an agreement.

She accepted the offer of the BBC, who had wanted to include "a range of voices" in the programme, including members of other political parties, as well as a head-to-head between the leaders.

"The final proposal we put to both of the main parties was for a head-to-head debate between the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition, followed by a discussion between eight panellists, including politicians, with a wide range of views on Brexit, and ending with further head-to-head debate and closing statements".

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