Corbyn: It's a shame PM has not joined in head-to-head debate

May was accused of "broken promises" for going for an early election on June 8 after she had repeatedly said she would not, and for a U-turn on a key manifesto pledge on elderly social care.

"I called a general election because I believe the British people have a right to vote and say who they want to see leading them through the Brexit process", she said.

Almost 3 million more people voted in the referendum than at the 2015 national election, with the biggest increases in leave-supporting areas, like Wakefield in northern England.

She spoke as recent opinion surveys suggest her Conservative Party's once commanding lead over Labour has been shrinking in recent days.

However, if the latest polls are wrong - and they have previously underestimated Conservative support - and May wins a sizeable victory, she will ax current finance minister Philip Hammond and replace him with interior minister Amber Rudd, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Asked if he could guarantee that all or a proportion of the one million jobs would go to British workers, Mr Corbyn said after the speech: "They would obviously be for people looking for work, the vast majority will be for people coming out of our schools and our colleges and our universities, and we will not allow anyone to only recruit overseas for jobs here". The prime minister, who had campaigned against Brexit, had come to lead Britain after Prime Minister David Cameron stepped down after last year's referendum. "What we are seeing is people still talking about Brexit all the time, and we need to just ensure that is motivating people to the ballot box next Thursday", he said.

Corbyn's Labour Party will face off with Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party on June 8, after May called for a snap election in April in the wake of Brexit negotiations.

"We told her that we wanted to leave and she threw it back", said Cruise.

Mrs May was also confronted by two voters who had been called to work capability assessments over mental health conditions, one of whom said she had been waiting nearly two years for NHS counselling.

Mrs May offered her little reassurance, saying: "We have had to take some hard choices across the public sector, and I'm being honest with you that we will put more money into the NHS but there isn't a magic money tree we can just shake".

For Mr Corbyn, the questioning started more gently, but he became irritable when repeatedly asked about whether he would be prepared to use nuclear weapons.

He was also criticised on his record on defence.

Labour's national elections co-ordinator Andrew Gwynne defended Mr Corbyn's refusal to order a first nuclear strike, insisting the deterrent would still work if countries knew the United Kingdom had the weapon and would use it in retaliation.

The ones who hide their because they don't think they should have to pay taxes like you and me. "I will decide on the circumstances at the time", Mr Corbyn said.

May praised her performance when she stood in for the prime minister at a televised election debate on Wednesday against all the leaders of Britain's other main parties, after May herself declined to attend.

  • Salvatore Jensen