Why British PM won't attend TV debate

Jeremy Corbyn is going to take part in tonight's live TV debate after all.

In his opening statement in the BBC's election debate, the Labour leader said there was "nothing remotely strong or stable" about the Tories' record in office.

It is reported that Ms Rudd took part in the debate just two days after the death of her elderly father on Monday and insisted on taking her place regardless.

"There is a debate in Cambridge tonight", Corbyn told a public meeting in Reading this afternoon.

Labour sources confirmed his attendance.

That is because markets initially pencilled in an increased Conservative majority - strengthening the Prime Minister's hand politically as she prepares for Brexit negotiations.

Amber Rudd will step up to the plate to bat for the Tories and will square off against a representative from Labour - later revealed to be leader Jeremy Corbyn - Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, Ukip's Paul Nuttall, the SNP's Angus Robertson, Green co-leader Caroline Lucas and Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood.

A seven-way debate does not always yield a clear victor, but barring any gaffes - Mr Corbyn has calculated that the only way is up.

"When it comes to that poll, people have a very clear choice and that choice is about who is going to be prime minister, about who is going to lead the United Kingdom in those Brexit negotiations, who has the plan to do that and the determination to get the best deal", she said.

"I know that's an image that doesn't bear thinking about, but actually this is very serious", Mrs May said.

As seen in his well-attended campaign rallies, Mr Corbyn enjoys being on the stump, while Mrs May, since her U-turn on social care, appears a little chastened.

But the Labour leader stressed his party's approach to Brexit talks would prove a success as unlike Mrs May he is not "threatening" the European Union.

"And then the Prime Minister is hiding away in a room upstairs to come down and do exactly the same, how ridiculous is that?"

He also called on Theresa May to "come and have a chat" at a press conference in Westminster.

"Theresa May called this election because she is taking you for granted".

"Do we need, as I'm afraid the Prime Minister has done for the last seven years, to set completely barmy, bogus targets that she fails to meet every year".

"Far from being a tiresome election, I think this one may come to be seen as the beginning of a realignment in politics that changes the political map and our concepts of right and left" - Daniel Finkelstein in the Times.

The Conservatives said they would get the right Brexit deal, enabling them to invest billions in public services.

Broadcaster Mishal Husain will moderate the debate which will be shown on BBC One from 7.30pm until 9pm.

  • Leroy Wright