British Prime Minister Theresa May recently refused to take part in a television debate with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Although May and Corbyn took part in a show on May 29 night, they did not sit together. They faced questions on different issues separately and tried to impress Britons ahead of the snap Parliamentary Election.
Both May and Corbyn clarified their stands on different important issues, like Brexit, foreign policy and social welfare, during the television show. They faced some tough questions not only from the crowd, but also from the presenter. While Prime Minister May tried to calm the crowd, Corbyn gave a lot more assurance to his countrymen on serious and sensitive issues. According to experts, the opposition leader showed a lot of confidence during the question-answer session.
Philip Webster, an 89-year-old Englishman, claimed that senior citizens were not at all happy with the May government’s plan to reduce old age allowance as mentioned in the Conservative Party’s election manifesto. “Why does my generation vote for you if I have to earn money by selling my house at this age?” he asked the PM. May assured Webster that there would be no need to sell their homes.
A senior policeman, too, strongly criticised Premier May for reducing the number of police officers during her tenure as home secretary, saying that the same person (now the PM) sought Armed Forces’ assistance after terror attacks in Manchester.
The Conservative leader has been facing questions about the National Health Service since she triggered a controversy by asking people to increase savings for medical purposes. Asked whether her government has any plan to reduce the budget support of health sector funding, the prime minister stressed that the proposal was aimed at improving the condition of health sector. In this context, she highlighted the importance of Brexit, saying that Britain would enjoy greater benefit in case of a positive solution.
Corbyn, too, was in trouble when asked to explain his views on issues, such as drone attacks, plans to increase tariff and give more importance to Northern Ireland. However, he defended Labour’s decision to increase municipal tax and to impose VAT on private school fees to pay for free meals for all primary school pupils, saying: “This country is badly divided between the richest and the poorest. You put corporate tax and tax on the top end down then that division gets greater. Are you happy that so many of our children are going to school in super-size classes, that so many of our children are going to school hungry?”
Asked whether he would prefer to use drone strikes in order to defeat terrorists in Syria and Iraq, the senior Labour leader said that it was not possible for him to make any comment on this particular issue.
Opinion polls show that Corbyn’s Labour Party has managed to gain popularity in recent times. Currently, Labour is just five points behind the Tories in popularity chart. So, it is difficult to predict the outcome of the June 8 Parliamentary Election on the basis of opinion polls.
Right now, Corbyn is the most ‘relaxed’ leader in Britain. May is under tremendous pressure, as she failed to fulfil promises (which she made after becoming the PM). May’s expected romp to re-election has turned into a tighter race that left-wing challenger Corbyn hopes will produce a Trump-like upset.