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Theresa May 'will not take part in TV debates'

Prime Minister Theresa May announced a snap general election on June 8. Picture by Philip Toscano, Press Association
Andrew Woodcock and David Hughes, Press Association

THERE were calls for TV broadcasters to "empty chair" Theresa May in election-time leaders' debates, after sources close to the Prime Minister indicated she will refuse to take part.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn threw down the gauntlet to the Prime Minister to agree to televised debates, which he said were "what democracy needs and what the British people deserve".

But a Downing Street source indicated that the Prime Minister would flatly reject any proposal for a TV showdown, telling the Press Association: "Our answer is no."

Mr Corbyn said: "Elections and democracy are about public debate.

"So it's rather strange that only a couple of hours after calling for a General Election, the Prime Minister is saying she's not going to take part in TV debates."

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron accused Mrs May of "bottling" and said broadcasters had a "moral duty" to go ahead with the televised leaders' showdowns even if she fails to take part.

And Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood - whose profile received a major boost from her involvement in two of the 2015 broadcasts - said: "Theresa May should be empty chaired if she doesn't show up to any planned TV debates".

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