Theresa May 'won't take part in TV debates' ahead of general election

During PMQs yesterday, he said: 'She says it's about leadership, yet is refusing to defend her record in television debates and it's not hard to see why'.

"Once we get into a debate about the real issues - the policies about what's happening to the health service, education, the economy, care for the elderly and our future relationship with the European Union - I think you'll see the polls narrow and the prospect of a Labour government", Mr McDonnell said.

After the BBC and ITV confirmed they would have leaders' debate without her, Theresa May might join in after all.

At the time of writing, 86,952 people have lent their support to a petition calling on May to take part in a TV leaders" debate, or for broadcasters to "empty chair' her if she refuses.

A BBC spokesman said it was too early to say whether the broadcaster would put in a bid to stage a debate.

John McDonnell told Sky News that live debates during the Labour leadership contest had helped transform Mr Corbyn into "a candidate who could win" - and claimed the Prime Minister was anxious about history repeating itself in the General Election.

But after ITV confirmed it would host a leaders' debate and a senior BBC journalist said the corporation would not let a single politician stop a programme which was in the public interest, it is understood that Mrs May is now open to the idea of a Q&A session.

"That's what I have always believed in, it's what I still believe and I still do it - as prime minister, as a constituency MP, I still go out and knock on doors in my constituency".

VA Seeks to Become More Transparent on Wait Times, Care Quality
The VA says veterans can use the site to compare that data with other facilities in their area. If the program is successful in Phoenix, CVS plans to roll out the project nationally.

"We look forward to the straight fight between the Tories and the SNP in Scotland, but can the Prime Minister tell people why she is running scared of a televised debate with Nicola Sturgeon?".

The Scottish National party's leader in the Commons, Angus Robertson, also challenged May over the debates, asking: "If the prime minister is so confident of her hard-Brexit, pro-austerity, anti-immigration case, why won't she debate opposition leaders?"

"I think she's taken a judgment that she stands to lose more in doing them than she does in not doing them and she's probably right", said Natalie Fenton, at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron told Sky News he was "very disappointed" that Mrs May was unwilling to attend any TV debate.

Both the BBC and ITV cited the fact that the debates had proved important in reaching sections of the electorate that tended to avoid other political media, particularly young people.

ITV is the first broadcaster to confirm a debate.

Although unpopular, observers consider May's decision to be a political calculation as she holds a roughly 20-point lead in the polls. Basking in the spotlight, his debate performances as party leader in 2010 and 2015 helped the Conservatives increase their seat count. Unlike in 2010 and 2015, Downing Street is more convinced of a majority vote and is understood to believe that it does not need the potentially unsafe TV debates to reach parts of the electorate that may be turned off by politics as usual.

Recommended News

  • San Francisco: Apple iPhone 8 may have fingerprint reader at back

    The 10th anniversary iPhone is going to feature an all-new, premium design that is expected to kick off a massive upgrade wave. According to earlier reports , Apple is likely to commence its manufacturing operations in India with the iPhone SE.
    Punycode URL attack can trick Chrome and Firefox users

    Punycode URL attack can trick Chrome and Firefox users

    This is why this аррӏе.com domain name displays as if it is the real deal, even though it is actually Google has made a decision to push the fix for this vulnerability with this update scheduled for late April.
    Pence Stares Down North Korean Troops

    Pence Stares Down North Korean Troops

    The spokesman also said China remains firmly committed to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue.
  • Egypt's cabinet approves three-month emergency

    Egypt's cabinet approves three-month emergency

    The emergency still technically needs the approval of Egypt's parliament - a formality, given the number of pro-Sisi delegates. He said he left after the sermon, and 20 minutes later, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the church's gate.

    Stockholm truck attack: Authorities arrest second suspect

    The suspect was detained Friday in Marsta, about 25 miles north of Stockholm near the city's main global airport. Friday's brutal attack threw the Scandinavian country's open-door immigration policy into the spotlight.
    Lions' Matthew Stafford on contract talks: What, me worry?

    Lions' Matthew Stafford on contract talks: What, me worry?

    After all, he is the team's all-time leading passer after having thrown for 30,303 yards and 187 touchdowns. As for his future, Stafford said he hasn't anxious too much about his contract talks.
  • Pence affirms United States  commitment to reining in North Korea

    Pence affirms United States commitment to reining in North Korea

    Vice foreign minister Han told the Associated Press last week that North Korea was prepared to handle a war with the U.S. US Ambassador Nikki Haley separately stressed that the onus was on North Korea to prevent an escalation.
    Arkansas execution plan again thrown into doubt

    Arkansas execution plan again thrown into doubt

    Arkansas officials are vowing to press ahead despite the setback to plans to resume capital punishment after a 12-year hiatus. The state filed an amended plan Monday that grants attorneys for the inmates more phone access while on prison grounds.

    Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez found hanged in jail cell

    One of those people stunned is none other than Hernandez's lead attorney, Jose Baez , but for a different reason. Authorities say Hernandez tried to block the cell door from the inside by jamming the door with various items.
  • It's been 10 years: Abhishek Bachchan

    It's been 10 years: Abhishek Bachchan

    Still remember the sangeet performances! Here's wishing the lovely couple a very Happy Wedding Anniversary. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is in a phase when she is recovering after the death of her father Krishnaraj Rai.
    Kashmir University, colleges remain shut as tensions prevail in Valley

    Kashmir University, colleges remain shut as tensions prevail in Valley

    The violence has killed scores of civilians and wounded more than 12,000 civilians and security force personnel. According to witnesses, the protesting students resorted to intense stone-pelting on government forces.
    Caitlyn Jenner Caught on Kids' Camera Before Transition

    Caitlyn Jenner Caught on Kids' Camera Before Transition

    However, a source revealed to PEOPLE that the super model has been unhappy about her recent Pepsi Ad controversy. The I Am Cait star also insisted she told Kris about her "gender issues" before they became intimate.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.