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Theresa May And Jeremy Corbyn To Face Jeremy Paxman, Live Studio Audience But Not Each Other

'May v Corbyn Live' will not be a face off.

15/05/2017 19:16

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn will be grilled by Jeremy Paxman and a live studio audience - but still won’t go head to head.

The PM has resisted a televised debate with her rivals, prompting Corbyn to call her “weak” and the Labour-supporting Daily Mirror to have someone follow her dressed as a chicken.

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Jack Taylor via Getty Images
A Daily Mirror chicken outside Buckingham Palace when the PM visited to dissolve parliament

Sky News and Channel 4 News have announced May v Corbyn Live, when both leaders will face questions from a live audience and then Paxman, who was the BBC’s most feared interviewer for decades.

But the pair will not face one another and will go one after the other, in a repeat of the format Sky News used in 2015 with David Cameron and Ed Miliband.

This must disappoint Corbyn, who, earlier on Monday, gatecrashed May’s Facebook Live Q&A with ITV News to ask whether she thought “the British people deserve to see us debate, live and on TV”.

”I don’t think people get much out of seeing politicians having a go at each other,” May said.

Corbyn tweeted it was “weak leadership to hide from your record”.

Sky’s 90-minute event will be broadcast from 8.30pm on May 29, before a BBC Question Time special on June 2 where Corbyn and May will also take questions from a live audience, also one after the other.

This was a compromise negotiated after the PM refused to take part in a leaders’ debate. 

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Ed Miliband (left) with Jeremy Paxman in 2015

During his 2015 interview with Paxman, Miliband became flustered at the suggestion he wasn’t “tough” enough to be prime minister, saying: “Am I tough enough? Hell yes, I’m tough enough.”

After the interview came to a close, Paxman asked: “Are you ok Ed?”

Miliband shot back: “Yeah, are you?”

The debates:

ITV: Thursday May 18, 8pm Party leaders to debate, though Theresa May has declined the invite to attend

Sky News And Channel 4 News: Monday May 29, 8.30pm Corbyn and May will take it in turns to face studio audience questions then Jeremy Paxman.

The BBC Election Debate: Wednesday May 31 7.30pm Mishal Husain moderates a panel of senior politicians from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrat, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Green Party and Ukip.

BBC Question Time: Friday June 2, time TBC Corbyn and May will face questions from a studio audience one after the other. Hosted by David Dimbleby.

BBC Question Time: Sunday, June 4, time TBC Tim Farron and Nicola Sturgeon will face questions from a studio audience one after the other. Hosted by David Dimbleby.

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