Party leaders attack May and Corbyn for avoiding TV debate

ITV Leaders' Debate: May and Corbyn have until 8pm to “change their minds”

"I'm not Natalie, I'm Leanne", she fired back, prompting audience laughter over Nuttall's comment about Britain's trade deficit.

She responded: "Will you please call me Leanne?"

The two parties will be sending their PR teams, but neither Theresa May, nor Jeremy Corbyn will attend.

In her opening statement, Green leader Caroline Lucas said: "Never in my lifetime has our future felt so uncertain".

That is weak leadership - weak and unstable.

Ms Wood and Mr Nuttall were joined the Lib Dems' Tim Farron, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and Green leader Caroline Lucas for the two-hour showdown.

"But she appealed to the memory of the Second World War as she pleaded for an end to child poverty and reforms for clean energy".

She added: 'Today she threatened again to walk away from any deal, and that would be an economic catastrophe'. "If opposition parties had worked together they could have opposed Brexit", she said.

May took part in a Facebook Live Q&A with ITV News' political editor Robert Peston earlier this week. Lucas said the Labour leader had "not only given the Tories a blank cheque but gave them the lift to the bank and helped them cash it".

A source at Ukip said the green rooms backstage were abuzz with the rumour, as aides began scrambling to recalibrate their plans for a six-way debate.

Neither May nor Corbyn have been "empty-chaired" by the broadcaster, with podiums provided only for the five leaders who appeared, who between them represented just 69 of the 650 MPs in the last parliament.

"Do you not think the British people deserve to see me and you debate live and on television?"

Oh dear. With both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn opting to give tonight's ITV leaders' debate a miss, leaders of the other political parties had the ideal opportunity to step into the spotlight and make a good impression in front of the electorate.

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