Jeremy Paxman returns to pugilistic style in May v Corbyn battle

The leaders did not face off with each other directly and after facing questions from the audience, the interviewer Jeremy Paxman quizzed Corbyn on what measures he would take to protect the British public, with the Labour leader refusing to say if he would authorise a drone strike to kill a terrorist because he did not want to answer "hypothetical" questions.

"It's not in there because we are not going to do it", he replied, adding that he had "a very nice chat with the Queen". "And I think going forward, we need to make sure in the Brexit negotiations there is no return to any kind of hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic".

Notably, Paxman asked Corbyn, a republican, about abolishing the monarchy and why it was not in the manifesto.

The Labour leader said he's "not a dictator" and the document is a process from the whole party. He said Labour wanted to prevent the undercutting of wages.

In an effort to get back to her key election messages of leadership and Brexit, she said Mr Corbyn was not prepared for the crunch talks with Brussels that will start within days of the General Election and would find himself "alone and naked" in the negotiations.

"And it couldn't have been more different to Jeremy Corbyn - who flannelled under pressure and couldn't get past 30 years of words and deeds that put him on the wrong side of the British people".

Ms May was heckled and laughed at by some members of the audience at Monday's TV appearance when discussing her education policy, and when Paxman asked whether the European Union would see her as a "blowhard who collapses at the first sign of gunfire" after she softened her plans on old age care.

And then, as ever, there came the questions about terrorism, security and war - subjects on which he is the least orthodox candidate for prime minister in modern history.

The Prime Minister sought to get back on the front foot after the U-turn on social care and the Manchester bombing pushed her campaign off course, claiming Mr Corbyn was "simply not ready to govern and not prepared to lead". At best the event was a score draw for the two leaders.

"I think they are becoming increasingly important".

Even the best communicators, the slickest of politicians in the Cameron mold, would struggle offering a third straight buffet of "difficult decisions" when her opposition has abandoned caution and laid on a spread of tempting giveaways - up to and including free food.

May was challenged over her change of heart on several issues, including an abrupt shift last week over plans to finance long-term care, and the merits of Brexit, which she once opposed but now embraces.

"I am not a dictator who writes things to tell people what to do".

There are several possible reasons for this: Labour's popular manifesto policies and Theresa May's controversial social care plans and subsequent U-turn nearly certainly contributed strongly to a shift in public perceptions.

"The game is aimed at 18-34 age range because they're really crucial at this election", said Moulding, who said the game had been downloaded 2,000 times in its first three hours online. May to have to backtrack on a proposal to scrap a planned cap on care costs.

  • Leroy Wright