BBC scraps plans for Brexit TV debate between May and Corbyn

BBC scraps plans for Brexit TV debate between May and Corbyn

'Why else would she not accept ITV's offer of a straightforward head-to-head debate, as Jeremy has done?

Downing Street issued an ultimatum earlier saying that it had agreed to numerous conditions set by Labour, and accusing Mr Corbyn of "running scared".

The dispute began last week after the ruling Tory government said it wants the debate to be aired by the BBC, while Labour pushed for ITV to televise the clash.

On Saturday, the BBC released a further statement, saying its proposal included both a head-to-head debate and "an opportunity to hear from a wider range of voices".

A No 10 spokesman has made clear they are determined to stick to the original BBC plan, claiming that if Jeremy Corbyn doesn't agree to the plan now on offer, the public will 'rightly conclude he's running scared'.

It Is uncertain whether Theresa May will consider ITV's terms or if the televised Brexit debate, created to discuss the European Union withdrawal agreement, will go ahead in the future.

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Meanwhile, Liberal Demcorat leader Vince Cable believes the proposal for a debate between only on the leaders of the Labour and Conservative Parties, both of whom support Brexit, means other views are excluded. I think he said he wanted to be on ITV so he could watch the final of I'm a Celebrity. "However The Daily Telegraph reported Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab and other former Cabinet ministers have written to BBC chairman Sir David Clementi to complain the views of the 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit would be 'nowhere represented" in the discussion.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The Prime Minister issued the original challenge to Jeremy Corbyn for a head-to-head debate, and despite her flexibility on timing and format, Jeremy Corbyn and Labour have done nothing but raise false and flimsy objections to the BBC's proposal".

ITV stressed that "invitations remain open" to both Mrs May and Mr Corbyn to appear in a debate on the channel.

"Since then, the Prime Minister's team and their preferred broadcaster, the BBC, have put together a confused format which would limit head-to-head debating time, with a built-in advantage for the government".

"However, we will keep our audiences informed with extensive news coverage and analysis around the vote, and with other programmes including a Brexitcast "takeover" of the One Show tomorrow [Wednesday] and a special half-hour programme on Monday 10 December".

Labor had earlier formally rejected the BBC's proposal for the discussion, calling it a "mish-mash" and accusing May of dodging a head-to-head debate.

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