Lib Dem anger as BBC announces Jeremy Corbyn v Boris Johnson debate days before election

Posted On: 
8th November 2019

The BBC has been accused of an "establishment stitch-up" after announcing that Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson will go head-to-head in a live debate less than a week before the election.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will go head-to-head on the BBC on 6 December.
PA Images

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said the party was launching legal action against the corporation in a bid to prevent her being excluded from the televised clash.

Today programme presenter Nick Robinson will moderate a debate between the Labour leader and Prime Minister on 6 December, just six days before the country goes to the polls.

Lib Dem women urge broadcasters to include leader Jo Swinson in TV election debates

Inside the Lib Dem battle bus as Jo Swinson eyes Jacob Rees-Mogg’s seat in Somerset

Boris Johnson compares 'vindictive' Jeremy Corbyn to Stalin as he kicks off election campaign

He will also present a separate debate on 29 November featuring representatives from seven different political parties.

A Question Time leaders' special debate, hosted by Fiona Bruce, will be held on 22 November and feature Mr Corbyn and Mr Johnson alongside Ms Swinson and the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon.

But the Lib Dem leader is furious at her exclusion from the main debate.

She said: "The BBC are now complicit in another establishment stitch up to shut down debate on the most important issue for generations: Brexit.

 "Millions of people voted to Remain in 2016. After three years of chaos, it is shocking that the Liberal Democrats - the strongest party of Remain - are being denied the opportunity to challenge Johnson and Corbyn on Brexit.
"Once again, the leaders of the Tories and Labour are running scared of debating the most important issue for generations.
"The Liberal Democrats are fighting to stop Brexit. We will pursue all options, including legal action, to ensure that our voice is heard in televised leaders' debates."

The party is already taking legal action against ITV for excluding Ms Swinson from a televised debate between Mr Corbyn and Mr Johnson.
They say that TV debates should be mandatory, with the format decided by an independent commission.