Leaders line up without May and Corbyn — ITV Debate

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During the debate, there was little conflict between the Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party but they all clashed with UKIP's Paul Nuttall.

There are likely to be 2 empty seats at tonight's Leaders' Debate at MediaCityUK as both the Conservatives and Labour have refused to take part.

Seizing on Mrs May's election mantra of "strong and stable leadership", Ms Wood added: "That's weak leadership - weak and unstable".

"I hope all of us here will show you tonight that real leadership is being willing to defend what you stand for". Mrs May's absence meant the debate was almost not worth watching.

"But she appealed to the memory of the Second World War as she pleaded for an end to child poverty and reforms for clean energy".

Mr Nuttall was attacked over Brexit by each of the four other leaders on the stage - Lib Dem chief Tim Farron, the Green's Caroline Lucas, Ms Wood and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Mr Nuttall unwittingly drew laughs from the studio audience when he addressed Ms Wood as "Natalie" not once but twice, perhaps confusing her with the former Green leader Natalie Bennett.

Nuttall hit back with Brexit "is where our future lies". Labour leader Jeremy Corbyyn also declined an invitation to participate in the debate.

The comments came within the opening minutes of the ITV leaders' debate, hosted at MediaCityUk in Salford. "Have I?" he said.

"Will you call me Leanne", Wood said.

"I think there will be some sort of dodgy deal over freedom of movement as well and I think she will capitulate and we will pay a divorce bill".

Both Farron and Lucas believe people should get the chance to vote in another European Union referendum. "I trust the people".

He said: 'The Brexit negotiation between Brussels and London will have outcomes none of us can predict.

Ms Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister, accused Theresa May of pursing "a hard, extreme Brexit".

The Ukip leader said there is an "over supply" of labour in the United Kingdom and which had impacted on the cost of living.

Sturgeon said Corbyn's absence was a sign his party was not providing adequate opposition to the Tories.

Corbyn tweeted before the debate, however, challenging the prime minister to face him head-to-head.

In his challenge, read out by ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston, the Labour leader 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?" he wrote.

ITV had said it would not accept representatives, or spokespeople, to appear in the place of the party leaders.

As the debate got underway, Mr Corbyn repeated his plea to the PM for a head to head debate.

On Thursday night he took part in the ITV Leaders Debate and came under fire from all sides on everything from Brexit, to the NHS, to the economy.

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