Tim Farron and Leanne Wood have best lines in BBC debate

Written by Rod Muir on 31 May 2017 in Diary

Watch: The PM was attacked for her debate no-show while the Ukip leader was ribbed over Brexit.

Opposition politicians did their best to mercilessly mock Theresa May for failing to turn up for the BBC’s TV debate with other party leaders.

After Amber Rudd was sent out to bat for the Tories, Jeremy Corbyn took the decision not to directly attack May's absence. But as he defended his own leadership abilities duting the debate, he did ask: “Where is Theresa May, what happened to her?”

Other leaders were more forthright with Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood first to seize on the prime minister’s absence in her opening statement.

“Theresa May called this election because she’s taking you for granted. She won’t turn up to these debates, because her campaign of soundbites is falling apart,” she said.

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas then took aim at May for staying at home, saying: “I think the first rule of leadership is to show up.”

And Tim Farron joined in saying: “How dare she call an election and then run away from the debate.”

The Lib Dem leader also got plenty of laughs when he suggested that viewers put the kettle on:

"The prime minister is not here tonight. She can't be bothered. So why should you. In fact, Bake Off is on BBC 2 next. Why not make yourself a brew? You're not worth Theresa May's time. Don't give her yours."





Lib Dems sources reckoned that Farron had “brought the house down” with this line – and a number of social media users agreed. Judging by the way he leapt off the stage and towards the audience afterwards, Farron also appeared to think he had a good night.

But for many viewers, the best line of the night came from Wood. Criticising the Ukip’s approach to Brexit negotiations, the Plaid Cymru leader launched a stinging personal attack on Paul Nuttall.

“Would you refuse to pay your dues if you were going through a real divorce? We all know about blokes like you."





Picture by: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images.

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