Britons will head to the poll in 10 days to decide the UK’s political future. Leaders and representatives from the UK’s main parties participated in a debate held on ITV on Sunday. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn sent representatives in their place having already gone head-to-head in a leaders debate previously. But the leaders of the Liberal Democrats, the Brexit Party, SNP, Green Party and Plaid Cymru were all present.
What happened in the ITV election debate?
In Sunday’s debate, political representatives from the seven main British parties clashed on issues ranging from Brexit, the NHS to terror legislation in the wake of the London Bridge attack.
Brexit is considered to be the most important issue for British voters according to recent election polls.
In the ITV debate, Ms Swinson was accused of being “not very liberal, not very democratic” given her decision to definitively cancel Brexit without a referendum.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Mr Burgon want a second referendum, but the former accused Labour of an inability to “decide what side they’re on”.
Nigel Farage said a second referendum would cause “even more division and acrimony”, adding his party pledged to leave the European Union and move to World Trade Organisation rules if a free trade agreement cannot be struck by the end of next year.
The Brexit Party leader entered into a frosty debate with the Lib Dem leader on the subject of US President Donald Trump.
Mr Farage acknowledged some of Mr Trump’s comments about grabbing women were “wrong”, but he accused Ms Swinson of “Trump hatred” and failing to understand the importance of a relationship with the USA.
He said: “He is president of the USA and that relationship matters. You are so anti-American you are prepared to put your hatred of Trump above our national interest. That is a great mistake.”
He was not the only one to support this perspective with Mr Sunak also underlining the significance of the UK’s relationship with America.
Mr Sunak said the UK’s relationship with the US was “incredibly important for keeping us safe” and was “not something to turn your nose up at”.
In the wake of the London Bridge terror attack on Friday which left three dead: two victims, Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones, who were stabbed to death, and the convicted terrorist Usman Khan, who was shot by police, the subject of terror legislation led to a heated exchange.
Mr Sunak said the Conservatives wanted “tougher sentences” and deflected accusations from others claiming Boris Johnson had politicised the attack.
Mr Farage said: “I think these people should never ever be let out prison unless we are absolutely convinced they do not have the jihadi virus. But political correctness stops us from doing that.”
The topic NHS led to heated exchanges between the Labour and Conservative representatives.
Mr Sunak accused Labour of making “baseless allegations” regarding the Tory plans to sell the NHS in the wake of a Brexit deal.
He said: “The real risk to the NHS are your reckless plans for the economy, Richard, which will mean there isn’t money to invest, and silly plans like the four-day week.”
The Labour shadow minister said: “It is not Labour’s policy to have a four-day week in the National Health Service.”
Unwilling to back down and challenging this comment, Mr Sunak said: “John McDonnell stood there and said very clearly that it would apply to everyone. Are you now saying that he was wrong?”
In response, Mr Burgon said: “No, I’m reiterating what he said before which is the idea of people working a four-day week at some point in the future – in maybe 10 years – is something which could be considered.”
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According to more than 7,500 Express.co.uk readers, Nigel Farage was the clear frontrunner of the debate. Sian Berry from the Green Party was the booby prize winner coming in last place according to the poll.
Britons will head to the poll in 10 days to decide the UK’s political future. Leaders and representatives from the UK’s main parties participated in a debate held on ITV on Sunday. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn sent representatives in their place having already gone head-to-head in a leaders debate previously.