She says it’s about leadership, yet is refusing to defend her record in television debates.
The Labour leader continued:
And it’s not hard to see why. The Prime Minister says we have a ‘stronger economy’. Yet she can’t explain why people’s wages are lower today than they were 10 years ago. Or why more households are in debt, 6 million people earning less than the living wage. Child poverty is up, pensioner poverty is up. So why are so many people getting poorer?
UK real wages (income adjusted for inflation) have plummeted by 10.4% since the financial crash in 2007-8. We are going backwards.
In response, the Prime Minister defended backing out of TV debates:
I would point out to the right honourable gentleman that I have been answering his questions and debating these matters every Wednesday that parliament has been sitting since I became Prime Minister…
Of course, that’s not the same as debating ahead of a general election – probably the only time citizens will get a say on how the country’s run for half a decade.
May went on:
I will be taking out to the country in this campaign a proud record of a Conservative government…
But Corbyn only really needed one retort:
If she’s so proud of her record, why won’t she debate it?
Conservative broken promises
Then, Corbyn pointed out why May might fear a debate. The Labour leader launched a volley of broken pledges from the Conservatives:
The last Tory manifesto, page 28, said ‘we will work to eliminate child poverty’. They only eliminated the child poverty targets, not child poverty. In 2010, they promised to eradicate the deficit by 2015. In 2015, they promised to eradicate the deficit by 2020. Austerity has failed…
In 2015, the Conservative government scrapped child poverty targets. We’ve seen similar failures on public debt. Since the Lib Dems propped up the Conservatives in 2010, successive Tory governments have piled on more debt than every previous Labour government combined.
In refusing to debate, the Prime Minister has cornered herself. Caroline Lucas branded her a “chicken”, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said she’s bottling it, while Nicola Sturgeon called on broadcasters to “empty chair her”. And at PMQs, Corbyn finished the job.
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