Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn to face public grilling on BBC election programme

Posted On: 
8th May 2017

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn will have to answer questions from voters in a special election programme, the BBC announced today.

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn will each face the public's questions on 2 June
Credit: 
PA

The Prime Minister has refused to take part in a head-to-head debate with Mr Corbyn or other party leaders, but will instead take questions from the public in a Question Time special on Friday 2 June in York. 

The format mirrors that used in 2015, when 4.3m people tuned in to watch David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg each face questions from the studio audience. 

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It was seen as a key campaign moment for Mr Miliband, who was pilloried for telling an audience member he did not think Labour had spent too much in government. 

FARRON/STURGEON

The BBC will also broadcast a separate programme from Edinburgh on 4 June, with Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon facing questions. 

On the same night, Plaid leader Leanne Wood and Ukip's Paul Nuttall will also get a 30-minute Q&A of their own, broadcast from Swansea and Bristol respectively.

Along with the leaders' programmes, the corporation have also scheduled a seven-way debate on 31 May featuring senior figures from the Conservatives, Labour, the Lib Dems, Ukip, the Greens, Plaid Cymru and the SNP.

Veteran interviewer Andrew Neil is also set to grill each party leader in special prime-time slots in the week of 22 May. 

ITV is hosting its own election debate on 18 May, but neither Mrs May nor Mr Corbyn are due to take part.

Despite the party leaders' declining to appear, the broadcaster has said it will not empty-chair either of them.