Why did this party leader withdraw from a TV election debate?

Why did this party leader withdraw from a TV election debate?

Why did this party leader withdraw from a TV election debate?

The BBC has released details of three programmes in which the leaders of up to seven UK political parties will go head-to-head on election issues.

But Keir Starmer has refused to attend the first of them.

This is the widest of the debates, with seven parties expected to take part: the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party, Reform UK and – it was believed – Labour.

After his withdrawal, it seems the other parties are hesitating over whether to send their leaders to the debate on June 7, chaired by Mishal Husain.

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The Conservatives have already said Rishi Sunak has not yet decided whether to attend that event and a Question Time Leaders Special on June 20, chaired by Fiona Bruce, intended to be between the leaders of Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP (the Greens, Plaid and Reform will be excluded and you can work out for yourself what that says about the BBC’s idea of impartiality in election coverage).

The Tories have already tried to make hay over Starmer’s reticence, calling him “the knight that won’t fight” and “Sir Fear Starmer” – but this may come back to bite them if Sunak himself refuses to attend.

Both leaders are signed up to participate in the head-to-head debate on June 26, hosted by Sophie Raworth

The BBC has been scooped by ITV for the first televised debate of the election, though. Sunak v Starmer: the ITV Debate will be aired at 9pm tomorrow (Tuesday, June 4).

It will be followed immediately by a series of interviews with party leaders, presented by Anushka Asthana. The Lib Dems, SNP, Reform UK and the Green Party have been invited to take part, while an interview with the leader of Plaid Cymru will be aired in Wales.

A multi-party debate will also be aired at 8.30pm on June 13.

Smaller parties and Independent candidates are excluded from these debates. Because many of these have sprung up to challenge the right-wing consensus represented by both Sunak, Starmer and their parties, this means voters will be deprived of the opportunity to find out what some of the best candidates in their constituencies stand for.

For that kind of information, you’ll have to look them up on their personal websites or social media columns like This Site.


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2 Comments

  1. Tony June 3, 2024 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Meanwhile, a list of 16 Labour seats that have become battlegrounds as a result of Labour’s support for the bombing of Gaza:

    Bethnal Green and Stepney
    Birmingham Hodge Hill and Solihull North
    Birmingham Ladywood
    Birmingham Perry Barr
    Birmingham Yardley
    Blackburn
    Bolton South and Walkden
    Bradford East
    Bradford South
    Bradford West
    Huddersfield
    Leicester South
    Luton North
    Luton South and South Bedfordshire
    Oldham West, Chadderton and Royton

    It would be fantastic if Jess Philips and Jonathan Ashworth were to be defeated.

    Source: Labourlist website.

    • Mike Sivier June 3, 2024 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      Amazing to see this on LabourList! It’s usually so far up Keir Starmer’s rear end that you can see its editor waving whenever he opens his mouth.

      Story to follow on This Site.

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