General Election 2017: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn makes a debate u-turn

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May left is interviewed by broadcaster Jeremy Paxman during a general election broadcast in London Monday

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May left is interviewed by broadcaster Jeremy Paxman during a general election broadcast in London Monday

In a last-minute change of plan, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn joined a multiparty debate organized by the BBC in Cambridge.

The Labour leader said the Tories are running a "a stage-managed arms-length campaign".

The Conservatives will instead be represented by home secretary Amber Rudd, while Ukip, the Greens, the Lib Dems, the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru will also take part.

Asked about the performance of the two party leaders in Monday night's televised grilling from Jeremy Paxman, Mr Jarvis said: "Theresa May was evasive and struggled to answer even the most basic of questions".

"Did I ever set out in life to become prime minister? No".

The veteran left-winger's decision to attend reflects a growing confidence in the Labour camp, buoyed by the latest YouGov poll that suggested the United Kingdom could be heading for a hung parliament on 9 June, with the Tories falling short of an overall majority.

Corbyn took to airwaves this morning to launch Labour's childcare policy, but was left scrambling to put a cost on the proposal under repeated questioning from the Women's Hour presenter.

The Labour leader said it was "not right and not fair" for his family to be subjected to the scrutiny.

"I've been very clear the sort of campaign I want to do is about meeting people and taking questions from the voters".

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"If you don't think Jeremy Corbyn is fit to be Prime Minister, if you don't think he's up to negotiating Brexit, if you oppose a second referendum - vote for Theresa May and her Conservative team".

"I've not been off the television screens, I've been doing things on the television, but predominantly taking questions from voters and listening to voters".

But May had earlier told a campaign rally that "debates where the politicians are squabbling among themselves doesn't do anything for the process of electioneering".

Caroline Lucas, leader of the Greens, welcomed Corbyn's news by saying: 'Great news, Jeremy Corbyn.

The Islington North candidate rolled the window down, the rider repeating, "Wish you all the success, Mr Corbyn!"

The prime minister is now on a tour of constituencies in Somerset and Plymouth.

In his opening statement in the BBC's election debate, the Labour leader said there was "nothing remotely strong or stable" about the Tories' record in office. "Now will Theresa May crawl out from where's she's hiding to debate?"

'Our democracy deserves proper debate between party leaders, not just setpiece speeches and one-to-one interviews and Q&As.

He said: 'Brexit negotiations start 11 days after people vote and are crucial to our economic security and the future of public services.

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