Leaders line up without May and Corbyn — ITV Debate

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Lib Dem Tim Farron will appear in another on 4 June and there will be a live debate featuring senior figures from seven parties on BBC One on 31 May.

The Ukip leader, whose party has slipped below the Greens in the national polls, was the main target for attacks from the other four parties, floundered twice when he called Wood "Natalie" by accident.

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 flawless opportunity to step into the spotlight and make a good impression in front of the electorate.

Nuttall, Wood, Lucas and Sturgeon were left to fight it out alongside Tim Farron.

May said it was more important to take question from voters as she did not think people benefited from seeing politicians "having a go at each other".

Ms Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister, accused Theresa May of pursing "a hard, extreme Brexit".

Mr Farron repeated his party's threat to hold another referendum on the final deal in a desperate bid to keep Britain in the EU. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyyn also declined an invitation to participate in the debate.

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The ITV debate took place in Salford.

Nuttall, the only pro-Brexit voice in a debate that opened with a question on how Britain should approach the negotiations, said he was not a representative of the prime minister. "Have I?" he said.

Prior to the debate, however, Corybn tweeted: "Theresa May, why not debate me?" he said.

And he added: "Brexit would never have happened if it wasn't for UKIP!"

"You may be too scared to come here tonight, for your U-turns to be highlighted, for your cruel policies to be exposed. You want this election to only be about Brexit because that means you avoid talking about the real issues like the NHS, the economy and the cuts you have made to our public services", said Ms Wood.

That is weak leadership - weak and unstable.

Ms Wood said: "The Prime Minister and the Labour leader's absence will no doubt cast a shadow over the event". To which Leanne replied: "I'm not Natalie, I'm Leanne".

  • Megan Austin