ITV Debate: Leaders line up without May and Corbyn

Miranda GreerMay 20, 2017

Nuttall may have confused her with former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, who resigned past year. You know, Natalie? No? "Leanne, I'm sorry", Mr Nuttall replied. "The fact that Theresa May isn't here tells you she is taking you for granted, she thinks she owns this result", he said.

"I think she'll sell out our fisheries", he said. "I'm sorry about that".

The ITV Leaders Debate Live on ITV at 8pm on Thursday 18th May.

Oh dear. With both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn opting to give tonight's ITV leaders' debate a miss, leaders of the other political parties had the ideal opportunity to step into the spotlight and make a good impression in front of the electorate.

"Do you not think the British people deserve to see me and you debate live and on television?" he wrote.

In her opening statement she said: 'I have a message for the Prime Minister, who I'm sure is watching tonight.

This is how Wood, Lucas and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon reacted following the second blunder.

"I hope all of us here will show you tonight that real leadership is being willing to defend what you stand for".

The Lib Dem leader said: "It's a reminder that the people who work in our social care service are brilliant people, but a lot of them can earn more stacking shelves at their local supermarket".

Ms Sturgeon said people should unite against the pursuit of a "hard, extreme Brexit" which she claimed would hit more than 80,000 jobs in Scotland.

"She is not enacting the will of the people; she has chosen to interpret it in an extreme way", Liberal Democrat Party Leader Tim Farron said during the debate in Salford, northwest England.

"Brexit would never have happened if it wasn't for Ukip", he said.

Both Farron and Lucas said their parties would fight for a referendum on the final Brexit deal, though Nuttall took his counterattack to Farron, whom he accused of not respecting the referendum result.

Ms Lucas defended the "huge contribution" made by immigrants and - in one of many attacks on the UKIP leader - said: "It's unfortunate there isn't a single question to which the answer for Paul Nuttall isn't immigration".

Nuttall's first reference to "Natalie" was early in the two-hour debate but it was immediately identified as the likely highlight of an exchange neither Theresa May nor Jeremy Corbyn opted to attend.

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