Corbyn criticizes May for dodging debates after calling for snap election
Opposition Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn attends a Service of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in central London on April 5, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Islam Times - British opposition Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has criticized Prime Minister Theresa May for her decision not to participate in televised debates in the run-up to a snap general election.
Conservatives said May would turn down any invitation to take part in live studio showdowns with fellow party leaders in spite of the Tories having double-digit leads in the polls.
May’s aides have argued that it is not necessary for the PM to do a live TV debate, a decision that marks a departure from her predecessor David Cameron, who participated in high-profile election debates in 2010 and 2015.
“The choice at this election is already clear, a strong and stable leadership in the national interest with Theresa May and the Conservatives or weak and unstable coalition Government led by Jeremy Corbyn,” a Tory spokesman said.
On Tuesday, Corbyn called the decision strange, noting that public debates are a requirement of elections and democracy.
“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,” he said.
“Well, I say to Theresa May, who said this election was about leadership, come on and show some – let’s have the debates.”
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron also accused May of holding the public in contempt by making an attempt to dodge scrutiny. He called on broadcasters to go ahead with debates without May.
The call was echoed by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
May’s decision not to take part in debates follows her surprise announcement of an early general election on June 8.
"We need a general election and we need one now. We have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done... before the detailed talks begin," May said Tuesday, despite previously denying that she would do so.
The announcement came after months of tumult in British politics following the Brexit vote.
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