General election: Leaders resume campaign after TV special

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Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are resuming election campaigning after facing a live TV audience in Monday’s joint Sky News/Channel 4 special.

Mrs May will again argue that she is the only person who can provide “strong leadership” and deliver a Brexit deal.

Mr Corbyn faces more interviews on Woman’s Hour, a Mumsnet webchat and the One Show – on BBC One at 19:00 BST.

Labour is expected to focus on its manifesto proposal to roll out free childcare to all two-year-olds.

The Conservative leader is expected to try to re-focus her campaign on Brexit and say that EU officials were adopting an “aggressive negotiating position” ahead of talks on the UK’s departure.

“The European Commission has shown the importance of the choice faced by the British public next week,” Mrs May will say.

“They are adopting an aggressive negotiating position, which can only be met by strong leadership on behalf of Britain. Jeremy Corbyn is in no position to provide that kind of leadership.”

In Monday’s Channel 4 and Sky News debate, the Labour leader said his party accepted the referendum result and would ensure protection for workers and the environment would continue after Brexit.

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“We won’t start the negotiations with megaphone diplomacy, threatening Europe with some kind of offshore tax haven on the shores of Europe,” he said.

In Tuesday’s campaigning, Labour is focusing on its manifesto proposal to extend 30 hour a week of free childcare to all two-year-olds, as part of its plans for a National Education Service.

The two leaders faced questions on range of subjects, including Brexit and foreign policy, from a live studio audience in the special general election programme on Monday night.

Mr Corbyn was quizzed about his views on drone strikes, tax-raising plans and past campaigning in Northern Ireland.

Mrs May defended her social care reforms and was repeatedly asked if she had changed her mind on Brexit.


Analysis, by Laura Kuenssberg

A lot of people are only just starting to think about the election and they won’t have sat through every bit of the TV event last night.

What they’ll glean, though, from snippets and headlines is a sense of how this campaign has changed, written on the leaders’ faces. Jeremy Corbyn, more comfortable, more assured, with better prepared answers. Theresa May, really having to explain herself.

And in this last stage the vulnerabilities are exactly where you’d expect. For Mr Corbyn it’s on issues like security, his personal views on groups like the IRA. And for Mrs May, it’s a Conservative prime minister facing tough questions over public services.


But the leaders did not appear together, as Mrs May declined to take part in a head-to-head encounter.

Lib Dem Tim Farron said both leaders had committed a series of “blunders”.

He claimed Mr Corbyn had made an unfunded commitment to lift the welfare cap, and Mrs May would not say how many people would be hit by a “dementia tax”.

The SNP’s Patrick Grady said: “I think we’ve found out why the prime minister has been so reluctant to take part in leaders’ debates tonight.”

Plaid Cymru criticised the lack of mentions of Wales, and the Green Party said Mrs May had “avoided the question” on her “unfair” social care reforms.

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