Election day ahead: May and Corbyn to face Paxman, but not together


May and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn faced a live studio audience and a tough TV interviewer as the general election campaign moved to the airwaves.

Monday's night's airing of "The Battle For Number 10" falls short of a head-to-head debate between the two top contenders in the June 8 vote but may shed light on their policy differences.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has insisted he would not "soften" Britain's foreign policy if he became prime minister, after Conservative claims that he would be soft on terrorism.

The SNP's Patrick Grady said: "I think we've found out why the prime minister has been so reluctant to take part in leaders' debates tonight".

The format calls for each candidate to separately face questions from the audience and be interviewed by seasoned interviewer Jeremy Paxman.

Facing harsh questioning from Paxman, one of Britain's best known TV journalists, May defended her about-face on Brexit.

Corbyn, the board also said, "has too often in the past been in sympathetic encounters with terrorist individuals and organizations, with the by-product of lending legitimacy to their violence.

In negotiations, you have to recognize that you're not in there to get a deal at any price", she said.

The converse view is that with less room for manoeuvre domestically, she will be able to reject compromises proposed by Brussels and drive a harder bargain, knowing that European Union negotiators will not want May to execute her threat of leaving without a deal.

"No deal is better than a bad deal", she said.

Ten days before the United Kingdom goes to the polls, the two party leaders separately faced wide-ranging questions on their manifestos, on Brexit and on past political stances and comments from the veteran tough questioner.

The Telegraph, perhaps unsurprisingly, takes a different stance suggesting that Mr Corbyn "ducked" a question on whether he would launch a drone strike, while the Times has a story about Mrs May's plans to "woo" the working class and focusing on getting Labour and Ukip voters to turn to her party.

He tried to unsettle both Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May, repeatedly pressing each of them for answers to his questions and talking over them at times.

"We won't start the negotiations with megaphone diplomacy, threatening Europe with some kind of offshore tax haven on the shores of Europe", he said in a dig at May's efforts to handle Brexit.

"Do you know what, I had a very nice chat with the Queen", Corbyn said to laughter after being pressed on whether he would abolish the monarchy, a long-held personal belief that is not part of Labour's official platform.

Mr Corbyn replied: "We got along absolutely fine".

Mr Corbyn said he had been pressing for a "stopping" of the conflict, and that the United Nations should have had the chance to prevent it from happening.

She said the government had to ensure Britain was "living within our means" given "the economic situation we had inherited".

He was also confronted with historical comments that the Falklands War was a "Tory plot" and the death of Osama bin Laden "a tragedy", saying of the former he had been pressing for the war's end, and of the latter that he had wanted the arrest and trial of the al-Qaeda leader.



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