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UK PM May slammed for TV debate no-show

Thursday, June 01, 2017 - 01:58

The leaders of five of Britain's political parties took part in an at times heated televised debate on Wednesday, but without the Prime Minister Theresa May, who was accused of being afraid to take part. Sarah Charlton reports.

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A last minute change of heart for the Labour Party's Jeremy Corbyn. The British opposition leader deciding to join a live televised debate on Wednesday (May 31), just hours before it went to air. Senior politicians from seven parties took part in the sometimes heated BBC special which came one week out from the UK's pivotal general election. But it wasn't attended by Prime Minister Theresa May, who's hoping to keep her seat in the election, and who has largely avoided unscripted public appearances during the campaign. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LIBERAL DEMOCRAT LEADER TIM FARRON, SAYING: "You see what we have is a general election in eight days time, Theresa May assuming a colossal landslide, that's why she thinks she can ignore you all and not bother turning up tonight" The Conservatives instead represented by Interior Minister Amber Rudd. Who exchanged angry words with Corbyn on Brexit, immigration, and security. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CONSERVATIVE MP AND INTERIOR MINISTER AMBER RUDD, SAYING: "And I am shocked that Jeremy Corbyn, just in 2011 boasted that he had opposed every piece of anti-terror legislation in his thirty years in office and I really think he must be held accountable for that because I find it chilling." (SOUNDBITE) (English) LABOUR PARTY LEADER JEREMY CORBYN, SAYING: "My opposition to anti-terror legislation isn't opposition to protecting us from terrorism, it's simply saying there must be judicial oversight over what is done in our name." One poll suggests the Conservatives massive initial lead has been reduced to just three percent. A YouGov survey for the Times newspaper putting the Tories on 42 percent and Labour on 39. YouGov suggests May could lose control of parliament. The prime minister called the snap election in a bid to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations. But it's now looking like she might not win the landslide of votes that was predicted just a month ago.

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UK PM May slammed for TV debate no-show

Thursday, June 01, 2017 - 01:58