LONDON — Theresa May has ruled out taking part in any televised general election debates.
Asked whether the prime minister would take part in televised debates, a Conservative spokesperson said this afternoon: “our answer is no.”
Labour immediately accused May of “dodging” the debates.
“If this General Election is about leadership, as Theresa May said this morning, she should not be dodging head-to-head TV debates,” Jeremy Corbyn said.
Televised debates were staged at the last two general elections. In 2010, they led to a large, but ultimately temporary bump in the polls for then Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.
Speculation over whether there would be any debates in the run-up to the last election dominated the campaign in 2015, but ultimately did take place.
However Conservative party sources suggest May wanted to shut down similar speculation early on.
With the Tories up to 21 points ahead in some polls, agreeing to debates was seen as an unnecessary risk.
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