With less than two weeks to go until Brits hit the polls to elect the UK’s next Prime Minister, leaders and representatives from the UK’s main parties took part in a debate on ITV on Sunday. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn both dodged the seven-way “leaders debate”, having gone head-to-head in an earlier ITV programme hosted by Julie Etchingham, but leaders from the Liberal Democrats, the Brexit Party, SNP, Green Party and Plaid Cymru are all present.
The Conservatives’ Rishi Sunak said the attacker was released halfway through his sentence because of a law passed in 2008 while Labour’s Richard Burgon suggests the blame lies on cuts to public services.
The participants also discussed Brexit and were asked by ITV’s Julie Etchingham if any of the parties say their policy will bring the country back together.
Rishi Sunak said the SNP will prop up Jeremy Corbyn, resulting in further delay, and echoed Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his conclusion: “Get Brexit done”.
Sian Berry for the Greens supports a second referendum while Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson commits to remaining in the EU.
An audience question asks whether people who work in coffee shops and other jobs across the UK would still be welcome after Brexit.
Mr Sunak answered his family are immigrants and immigration can be good, however, the Tories have pledged to reduce it.
Mr Farage said he has “no confidence” anyone on the platform wants to reduce immigration and an Australian-style points system is the only solution.
Ms Berry clashed with the Brexit Party leader over his answer, saying the system makes her “feel sick”.
Mr Burgon said free movement would continue under Remain, but there would be a new migration policy under a Labour Brexit deal.
On the UK-US special relationship, the Lib Dem leader said US President Donald Trump “is not represent someone who shares our value” and the Conservatives should not have rolled out a red carpet for him.
She has said there are three people in the special relationship – Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage.
One of the biggest clashes of the night came when Mr Farage sought to defend Mr Trump’s comments about sexually assaulting women, which drew the biggest reaction from the audience.
The Brexit Party leader said: “It was crass and it was crude and it was wrong and men say dreadful things sometimes.”
But Plaid Cymru’s Mr Price responded by saying: “It can never be acceptable for a man to talk about grabbing a woman’s p***y”.
On the idea that “Trump wants to buy the NHS”, Mr Sunak the Labour MP: “You really must stop making these reckless allegations”.
He told Mr Burgon: “The real risk to the NHS are your reckless plans for the economy, Richard, which will mean there isn’t money to invest, and silly plans like the four-day week.”
Mr Burgon replied: “It is not Labour’s policy to have a four-day week in the National Health Service.”
Challenging the comment, Mr Sunak said: “John McDonnell stood there and said very clearly that it would apply to everyone. Are you now saying that he was wrong?”
Mr Burgon replied: “No, I’m reiterating what he said before which is the idea of people working a four-day week at some point in the future – in maybe 10 years – is something which could be considered.”
the Brexit Party leader also accused the Conservatives of lying about national debt.
He said: “You are not cutting the debt, you are cutting the deficit. When you came to power the national debt was £650 billion – it is now £1.7 trillion.
“The debt has gone up massively – even more hugely under Labour, I accept that – but please tell people the truth.”
Mr Sunak replied: “Debt as a percentage of GDP, which is the way we measure it, will be lower at the end of a Conservative government.”
Published at Sun, 01 Dec 2019 20:54:00 +0000