Pressure builds on May as Corbyn announces he will take part in BBC election debate

Amber Rudd will represent May at the debate


Jeremy Corbyn has made a last-minute announcement that he will attend tonight’s BBC leaders’ debate in Cambridge, and has challenged the prime minister to attend as well.

He said in a statement:

“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.

“I have never been afraid of a debate in my life. Labour’s campaign has been about taking our polices to people across the country and listening to the concerns of voters.

“The Tories have been conducting a stage-managed arms-length campaign and have treated the public with contempt. Refusing to join me in Cambridge tonight would be another sign of Theresa May’s weakness, not strength.”

The seven-way debate will now feature Corbyn, Tim Farron, Caroline Lucas, Leanne Wood, Paul Nuttall, Angus Robertson and Amber Rudd, who will stand in for the prime minister.

Theresa May has insisted from the beginning of the campaign that she will not participate in any TV debates and, until now, Corbyn had refused to attend unless she did too. That he has committed to the debate is a sign of Labour’s growing confidence, and willingness to throw the kitchen sink at the final days of the election campaign.


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