ITV are threatening to hold a leaders’ debate without the leader of the country, with Theresa May ruling out appearing. Corbyn says he welcomes ITV’s decision to hold a debate, though Team Jez say they only want a head-to-head with the PM and are not keen on a losers’ debate with Farron, Sturgeon and Nuttal. No official word on whether Corbyn will turn up if May doesn’t. A straight May-Corbyn head-to-head would be open the broadcasters to a legal challenge on impartiality grounds. Farron on the other hand is up for debating anyone, anywhere, and wants ITV to empty chair the PM. As former Clegg SpAd Sean Kemp notes, there is no benefit for May in taking part in a debate with the other leaders, it only helps Farron.
Theresa May would have been insane to agree to a debate, would have helped Farron massively and done nothing for her.
— Sean Kemp (@Sean_Kemp) April 18, 2017
Lynton Crosby, who May has hired to help run the Tory campaign, famously hates TV debates. It was once said of Lynton: “If David Cameron gets in a car to go to the debate, Lynton Crosby will stage a car crash.” No way he will allow May to boost Farron…