UK Labour chief challenges May to debate as race tightens

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Mr Corbyn said he expected to be able to keep his allotment if he became PM, saying: "I would make sure there is always balance".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and five other party leaders clashed this evening in a chaotic seven-way debate on their plans for government after next week's General Election - but Conservative party leader Theresa May did not take part.

"The only question to consider is who should be in No 10 to steer Britain to a brighter future?"

May refused from the start to take part in any head-to-head debate, and opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had said he would not take part without her.

A noisy and ill-tempered TV election debate began and ended with Jeremy Corbyn and the UK's minor parties condemning Theresa May for failing to turn up.

Wood said May's decision was a sign that "her campaign of soundbites is falling apart".

She added that Mr Corbyn was paying far too much attention to his television appearances and "ought to be paying a little more attention to thinking about Brexit negotiations".

He said: "A vote for the SNP is a vote against Tory cuts that will harm our public services and push many more hard-working families into poverty".

He said: "Where do you think Theresa May is tonight?" Take a look out your window.

If you put that corporation tax up, you're then in a position to deal with the crisis in social care, the crisis in our NHS, properly fund our schools...
Imagine if it's a bad deal.

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"There is a block of those that now have a massive debt, and I'm looking at ways that we could reduce that, ameliorate that, lengthen the period of paying it off, or some other means of reducing that debt burden", said Mr Corbyn.

Mr Corbyn added: "How ridiculous is that?" Have you seen people sleeping around our stations?

Have you seen the levels of poverty that exist because of your government's conscious decisions on benefits?

But the only way to have the money to invest, she said, is through having a strong economy "which does sometimes mean making hard choices, those sorts of choices no other party here is prepared to face up to".

The final comments came from Ms Rudd, who sought to point out the strength and consistency of the Tories in the face of Brexit.

She replied: "The truth is we are fighting to win and we are fighting to win with a majority".

Corbyn used a rally in Basildon, in southeastern England, to say that May and the Conservatives are putting Britain's economy at risk by taking an unnecessarily hard line toward the European Union over Brexit terms, which may lead to a breakdown in talks.

And although there was no clear victor among the bickering, Ms Rudd's combative performance will have boosted her chances of becoming the next Tory Chancellor and a future leader of the party.

Challenging Mrs May to join him at the event, Mr Corbyn told supporters: "I invite her to go to Cambridge and debate her policies, debate their record, debate their plans, debate their proposals and let the public make up their mind".