Jeremy Corbyn ambushes Theresa May during Facebook Live event with TV debate challenge

Ms May, however, dismissed the Labour leader’s question that he left on the livestream, claiming it would be more important during the next four weeks before polling day to take questions directly from voters

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 16 May 2017 08:35
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Jeremy Corbyn ambushes Theresa May during Facebook Live event with TV debate challenge

Jeremy Corbyn ambushed Theresa May as she appeared on Facebook Live, issuing a direct challenge to the Prime Minister to take part in televised debates before the general election.

Ms May, however, dismissed the Labour leader’s question that he left on the livestream, claiming it would be more important during the next four weeks before polling day to take questions directly from voters.

It came as the Prime Minister took part in the first of ITV’s Facebook Live events, in which political leaders will answer questions sent in by users of the social media website over the next few weeks.

During the live event, Ms May was also asked by one Facebook user why Nigel Farage, the former Ukip leader, had not received a knighthood – a contentious issue within the right-wing party. The Prime Minister laughed but failed to reply.

But as the stream came to a close, around 10,000 users had responded with an angry emoji while another 4,400 gave the Prime Minister the thumbs up.

Presenter Robert Peston then told Ms May he had received a query from “Jeremy Corbyn of Islington”, who said: “Hello Theresa May, as Prime Minister you’ve served your elite friends by giving them tax cuts when wages have stagnated, house building is at its lowest since the 1920s, there are 20,000 fewer police on our streets since 2010 and the NHS is in crisis.”

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

Ms May responded: “What I think is more important is actually that I and he take questions directly from the voters. I don’t think people get much out of seeing politicians having a go at each other, I think people want to hear directly.”

The Prime Minister’s appearance also came after she was confronted by a voter protesting about cuts to her disability benefits in one of her toughest moments on the campaign trail. A woman called Cathy Mohan, who said she had learning difficulties, tore into the Prime Minister on a walkabout in a market in Oxfordshire.

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