LIVEBLOG: General Election Debate
All the big dogs are in town
Tonight at the Senate House, the BBC’s flagship election is set to take place, featuring key figures from all seven main parties.
Earlier today, Jeremy Corbyn announced he would be appearing alongside party leaders Tim Farron, Leanne Wood, Caroline Lucas and Paul Nuttall, along with senior figures from the Conservatives (Amber Rudd, Home Secretary) and the SNP (Angus Robertson, Deputy Leader). Much has been made of Theresa May’s no showing of the debate, with Corbyn labelling her a coward. Theresa May has retorted that the other parties are ‘obsessed with TV’.
With the latest YouGov poll predicting a hung parliament, the TV debate is as vital as ever, so take a break from exams and dive into the murky world of national politics with us. Follow our Liveblog below, with live updates from both the debate and the spin room.
Well, Tim Farron didn’t show up, Corbyn went home, Theresa’s watching TV and even Leanne Wood snaked us. Time to go home and watch #GBBO. Tab out.
Senior Labour figure can confirm that Theresa May spent the night at Downing rather than campaigning.
Sadly Corbyn not coming to Union Chamber. We are victims of Fake News! Sad!
Corbyn is apparently on his way to the Union Chamber. The Spin Room is bursting at the seams.
Final round up, in order:
Nuttall, UKIP: “You’ve heard the same arguments, the same excuses, the same platitudes before. Ukip will always been the outsider. We’ve been proved right on Brexit. We’ve been proved right on immigration.”
Corbyn, Labour: The choice is “between a Labour government and a Conservative government. Vote Labour – for the many, not the few.”
Robertson, SNP: Notes the “different views about the kind of country we should be. Now more than ever, we need a strong opposition to hold the Tories to account.”
Farron: “I will stand up to Conservatives. You are not worth Theresa May’s time, don’t give her yours.”
Rudd: “A vote for anyone other than Theresa May is a vote of Corbyn and coalition.”
OVERT THATCHER REFERENCE ALERT. Robertson brands May “not so much the Iron Lady as the U-turn Queen”.
Peter Whittle (Deputy UKIP Leader) to BBC: “BBC mistake to hold debate in Cambridge which was 74%… only Paul Nutall is representing the people… the rest of them are living in some sort of alternate reality.”
Immediately has a fag as soon as off the air.
Film crews are getting agitated in the Spin Room. Unclear why so far. 10 mins remaining.
Searing political commentary from Cambridge’s most influential social media giant:
Farron risks of alienating the good voters of Cambridge with tirade against “muesli-eating Guardian readers”.
Nuttall proving to be truly nuts. Declares that “radical Islam is a cancer”. Insists that Corbyn “invited Hamas into the House of Commons.”
What you're missing in #BBCDebate
– And here's another thing
– Let him speak
– Definite plan
– Not true
— Jim Pickard (@PickardJE) May 31, 2017
The lilting voice of Leanne Wood is back. Everything suddenly calm. Sheep bleating, waves gently washing to shore, rain pattering against window panes.
Lucas on the Manchester Attack: “It is no more representative of Islam than the murder of Jo Cox was representative of the wider British public”.
Farron backing some foreign intervention. *Blairism intensifies*.
According to source in the Spin Room: “Oddly pro-Corbyn atmosphere here considering how he’s been portrayed in the media.”
Follow YouGov’s poll here. Obviously, it’s not as methodologically sophisticated as The Tab’s Polldaddy version, but probably worth having a look at.
Farron warns against giving Theresa May a “blank cheque” to do whatever she wishes on various issues, including social care.
Amber Rudd insists the Conservatives have made an effort to “help the poorest”. Hasn’t gone down particularly well, surprisingly.
Lucas asks: “What is chaotic? What is chaotic?!”
Rudd has used the phrase “magic money tree” three times so far. The new “strong and stable”?
Caroline Lucas’s voice is melodious, lyrical, light, pure. It is the soundtrack to All Good Times. She condemns Nuttall for “hate-filled rhetoric”.
Corbyn dodges the question as to whether immigration will go up.
Tim Farron gets big round of applause for criticism of Nuttall’s “demonising [of] immigrants”.
Paul Nuttall getting an awful lot of screen time for a man with such horrible taste in ties.
Tab Editor spotted on top left of BBC’s tweet. FAME.
— BBC News Press Team (@BBCNewsPR) May 31, 2017
Nuttall wants to scrap VAT on fuel. Broom broom.
Farron makes Diane Abbott style mistake – “3.6 million” before quickly correcting himself to “billion”.
Hot take from Tim Farron: “economics is about people, not figures.”
Economic wisdom echoed by Rudd: “In order to have a strong economy we need to have a strong economy”.
Oxbridge bragging pervades. Funfunfunfun.
Theresa May decided not to attend, but her representative Amber Rudd, Conservative Home Secretary, says that May has a “clear plan”, whereas Corbyn is presenting a “wish list manifesto”.
Corbyn emphasises commitment to creating a country that is “for the many not the few”.
Tim Farron warns against May, who apparently might be outside your window right now, sizing up your assets, or stealing food from your children’s lunchboxes. He acknowledges that to get us to vote for the Lib Dems “I need to give you some really good reasons.”
Caroline Lucas is big fan of metaphor. She says we don’t need to have the keys to Number 10 to unlock the door of change. Also she isn’t afraid of holding Labour’s feet over the proverbial fire.
Leanne Wood makes it clear that the Welsh people are being taken for granted – they’ve voted Labour for the past 100 years. She urges change.
Angus Robertson rather sweaty.
Take a shot. Jeremy Corbyn’s vest very, very disconcertingly visible.
Aaaaaaaand it’s begun. Here we… here we… here we fucking go!!!
Inside the Spin Room/Union Chamber.
Amber Rudd arrives to chants of “Tories Out”. A warm reception from Cambridge.
Inside view from the debate. Unbelievable scenez.
Anti-Tory protest outside of Senate House. Organised only earlier today.
Emily Thornberry arrives. Quoted: “”Corbyn is not playing all this Westminster Bubble personality stuff. Jeremy really enjoys talking to the public.”
David Davis has arrived. Charisma abounds.
Labour spin team has arrived on the scene.
Editor-in-Chief, Eddie Spence, will be in the Spin Room updating us on all the SAUCY deets.
Keep checking The Tab for strong and stable updates!