Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

ITV to hold election debate whether or not Theresa May takes part


"Instead of focusing on her day job the Prime Minister has irresponsibly called a General Election set to impede the work of Parliament and put a spanner in the works for Brexit talks with European Union counterparts".

Praising MPs for backing her during a stump speech in the north-west of England, the PM said: "It's great to be here in Bolton, fresh from the House of Commons, fresh from winning a vote in the House of Commons, which has approved my decision to hold a general election on June 8".

Mr Corbyn said that a Labour government would conduct "responsible" Brexit negotiations to ensure future trading relations with the remaining EU.

Meanwhile the BBC's head of newsgathering Jonathan Munro told The Telegraph that he did "not want to get in a position where any party leader stops us doing a programme that we think is in the public interest".

Ms May said that funding was now "not fair across the country", and added: "We have consulted on [the national funding formula] and will obviously be responding to that consultation".

Broadcaster ITV says it will hold a live election debate ahead of the general election despite Theresa May's refusal to go head-to-head with Jeremy Corbyn. "Now was not the time, she said, to be distracted from the job at hand".

The prime minister said she would look at the financial problems faced by small rural schools.

"Her motive is clear".

He added: "She could also become more unbending; we don't know". Nothing is going to top that if she continues in Parliament.

In February the 51-year-old said Labour was at its weakest point in half a century in an interview with the Times and declined to rule out a return to United Kingdom politics.

A handful of Labour MPs in the chamber did not leave their seats to vote, while the SNP also abstained. Opposing the snap election were nine Labor ministers, three independents and a member of the Social Democratic and Labor Party.

Alliance Leader Naomi Long said it would be "a disgrace for parties to stall talks due to the General Election".

The Prime Minister confirmed on Wednesday that she will not face Mr Corbyn and other party leaders in live TV debates in the run-up to the June 8 poll, insisting that campaigning should be about getting "out and about" meeting voters.

The House of Commons backed the poll by 522 votes to just 13.

With yesterday's shock announcement of the snap election, today's PMQs was predictably rowdy.

We now have two very important elections in a matter of weeks.

Another possible reason Hedley mentioned was the "absolute disarray" and disunity in which the Labour Party now finds itself - implying the rejection of Jeremy Corbyn by the Parliamentary wing of a Labour party "stuffed mainly by careerists and opportunists" - which he compared to the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party in the US.

The choice of Croydon Central for an early visit is likely to be seen as an indication that Labour wants to show it is fighting to add to its tally of MPs in Parliament, rather than simply protect seats it already holds.

"We are relishing the chance to get out there", said a senior Labour source close to the leader.

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