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US News Johnson challenges Corbyn ahead of first TV debate

05:45  19 november  2019
05:45  19 november  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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TV debate ahead : The Prime Minister and opposition leader are also preparing for the first set-piece event The Liberal Democrats and the SNP have lost a High Court challenge against their exclusion from Tomorrow's broadcast on ITV will see Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn go head to head

Jeremy Corbyn is challenging Boris Johnson to face him in head-to-head televised debates during the election campaign. Johnson was accused of running scared from TV debates by rival Jeremy Hunt during the race to take over the Tory party after the departure of Theresa May.

Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie: Boris Johnson has accused Jeremy Corbyn of 'ducking' questions about Brexit © Getty Boris Johnson has accused Jeremy Corbyn of 'ducking' questions about Brexit Boris Johnson has issued a Brexit challenge to Jeremy Corbyn ahead of their first head-to-head TV debate of the election campaign.

In what could be a defining moment of the election campaign, during a one-hour programme the two leaders will clash on Brexit in the first half hour and then other issues.

And just hours before the debate, the prime minister has written to the Labour leader posing a series of questions about his Brexit policy and accusing him of ducking them in the campaign so far.

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Jeremy Corbyn has challenged Boris Johnson to a head-to-head TV debate during the election campaign. The Labour leader's spokesman said Mr Corbyn In 2017, then Conservative Party leader Theresa May declined to take part in TV debates ahead of the general election, saying she preferred

Jeremy Corbyn is challenging Boris Johnson to face him in head-to-head televised debates during the election campaign. Mr Corbyn ’s spokesman said: “As we demanded of Theresa May and she refused to agree, we would challenge Boris Johnson to agree today to head-to-head TV debates in


"This election is about breaking the deadlock in parliament that has prevented us from getting Brexit done and working in the interests of the British people," Mr Johnson writes.

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"The public have a right to know where the two candidates for prime minister stand on the big questions facing the country at this election. So far in this campaign, you have ducked those questions."

He challenges Mr Corbyn:

  • You are proposing a second referendum on EU membership. In that referendum, would you recommend the UK should remain or leave?
  • Your previous manifesto promised to end freedom of movement, but following your conference it is now Labour Party policy to "maintain and extend" free movement. Would you end, maintain or extend free movement, and would immigration be higher or lower under Corbyn's Labour?
  • Asked on Sunday if you were prepared to continue to pay into the EU budget on an ongoing basis, you replied "clearly if you want access to a market there are costs involved". How much would you be willing to pay into the EU budget in return for "access to markets"?
  • All 635 Conservative candidates standing at this election have pledged to me that, if elected, they will vote in parliament to pass my Brexit deal. Can you guarantee that every Labour candidate supports your Brexit policy?

Mr Johnson concludes: "Without satisfactory answers to these questions, the public will have no choice but to conclude that Corbyn's Labour, propped up by the SNP, will mean dither, delay, and uncertainty with two more chaotic referendums next year. Only the Conservatives will get Brexit done so the country can move on."

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Jeremy Corbyn has challenged Johnson to TV debates on what has effectively been the first full One of Boris Johnson ’s main lines of attack against Labour at the moment is the claim that Jeremy [As] we go forward from here Scottish Conservatives are promising a referendum free period ahead .

Jeremy Corbyn is challenging Boris Johnson to face him in head-to-head televised debates during the election campaign. Mr Corbyn ’s spokesman said: “As we demanded of Theresa May and she refused to agree, we would challenge Boris Johnson to agree today to head-to-head TV debates in

Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn attends the annual CBI Conference in London, Britain November 18, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson © Thomson Reuters Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn attends the annual CBI Conference in London, Britain November 18, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

There is no place in the debate for Jo Swinson, after the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party lost a High Court challenge against ITV over its decision to exclude their leaders.

Protesting, a furious Ms Swinson said: "There are millions of people in our country who want to remain in the European Union, a key issue in this election.

"So to have a debate just between two people who want to leave the EU leaves out a whole side of that debate, leaves out and silences the voices of millions of people in this country."

Britian's opposition Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson speaks at the annual Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference in central London, on November 18, 2019. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images) Britian's opposition Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson speaks at the annual Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference in central London, on November 18, 2019. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

While this is the prime minister's first TV debate as Tory leader, he debated against his leadership rival Jeremy Hunt in July and took part in high-profile TV debates during the 2016 EU referendum campaign.

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The High Court will later consider separate legal challenges from the Lib Dems and SNP over their exclusion from ITV's general election debate . The Lib Dems have also sent a legal letter to the BBC over its decision not to include their leader Jo Swinson in a debate on 6 December.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson also challenged the Prime Minister in the Commons.

Mr Johnson's allies back the decision to hold a debate with just the prime minister and leader of the opposition and to exclude the Liberal Democrats and SNP.

"We broadly have a two party system," business minister Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News.

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"Credibly only two people are going to be, or are likely to be prime minister, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.

"It's important the electorate see the two on offer. Nicola Sturgeon cannot be prime minister. The SNP are not even standing in a majority of seats. Jo Swinson's chances are very small."

Elsewhere in the campaign:

  • The Tories have pledged that child murderers will face life in prison without parole if the party wins the election
  • The party is also promising to protect forces personnel from "unfair" taxes in Scotland if it wins a majority
  • Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has accused Mr Johnson of letting the country's "super rich" buy access to "tax breaks and corporate giveaways" by donating to the Conservatives
  • A Labour government would increase police numbers to help fight fox hunting, hare coursing and other wildlife crimes
  • Ms Swinson and the Lib Dems are promising to give the NHS a £35bn funding boost by raising income tax by a penny
  • Scotland's first minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is calling for immigration powers to be devolved to Holyrood, labelling the current UK-wide policy a "disaster"
  • The Green Party is launching its election manifesto, which includes plans to invest £100bn a year to tackle climate change

Although Mr Corbyn took part in a seven-way election debate in 2017, he has yet to go head to head with a Conservative leader. But he goes into this debate trailing Mr Johnson badly in personal approval ratings.

(L-R) Former Prime Ministers Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, David Cameron and John Major attend a Service of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Paddy Ashdown, former leader of the Liberal Democrats at Westminster Abbey in central London on September 10, 2019. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read CHRIS J RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images) (L-R) Former Prime Ministers Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, David Cameron and John Major attend a Service of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Paddy Ashdown, former leader of the Liberal Democrats at Westminster Abbey in central London on September 10, 2019. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRIS J RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images)

The big year for TV election debates was 2010, when Sky News, ITV and the BBC each staged debates between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

But there were no head-to-head debates between the leaders of the main parties in the 2015 or 2017 general election campaigns.

Sky News and Channel 4 broadcast "The Battle for No. 10", featuring interviews with Mr Cameron and the Labour leader Ed Miliband. There was also one seven-way debate including the leaders of smaller parties.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14: Conservative MP and former prime minister Theresa May (C) processes with members of parliament through the Peers Lobby into the House of Lords to listen to the Queen's Speech during the State Opening of Parliament in the Houses of Parliament on October 14, 2019 in London, England. The Queen's speech is expected to announce plans to end the free movement of EU citizens to the UK after Brexit, new laws on crime, health and the environment. (Photo by Tolga Akmen - WPA Pool/Getty Images) © 2019 Getty Images LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14: Conservative MP and former prime minister Theresa May (C) processes with members of parliament through the Peers Lobby into the House of Lords to listen to the Queen's Speech during the State Opening of Parliament in the Houses of Parliament on October 14, 2019 in London, England. The Queen's speech is expected to announce plans to end the free movement of EU citizens to the UK after Brexit, new laws on crime, health and the environment. (Photo by Tolga Akmen - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

In 2017, Theresa May refused to debate with Mr Corbyn or other party leaders and her place was taken in one TV debate by then-home secretary Amber Rudd.

Just before she left office in July, Mrs May admitted she should have taken part.

Mr Johnson, who took a break from campaigning on his battle bus to prepare for the debate, is determined not to repeat the mistakes of the Tories' 2017 campaign.

Jeremy Corbyn pledges to increase public sector pay by 5% .
Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to increase public sector pay by 5% if Labour wins the election. The party's "radical" manifesto, launched in Birmingham today, says all public sector workers would get a pay rise of 5% - an average of £1,643 - from April 2020.After 2020, Labour promised to deliver "year-on-year above-inflation pay rises...to reward and retain the people who do so much for us all".The 105-page manifesto was fully-costed, as was the Liberal Democrats' which was launched earlier this week.

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