May v Corbyn Brexit TV debate off as ITV joins BBC in pulling out of broadcast

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn look unlikely to face-off in a televised Brexit debate ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Commons vote after ITV announced it had scrapped its plan to broadcast it.

The commercial network withdrew after Labour and the Conservatives had spent days rowing over whether to accept its offer of a head-to-head or accept a rival bid from the BBC.

The BBC, which was favoured by Number 10, had already pulled out of the running to host a Sunday night programme featuring other voices as well as the two party leaders.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

On Thursday ITV, whose one-on-one format was favoured by Labour, announced it too was abandoning plans for the programme.

A spokeswoman for the broadcaster said: “ITV invited the Prime Minister and leader of the Opposition to appear in an ITV programme this Sunday evening, and we have been clear that it is up to those invited to decide whether they want to accept the invitation.

“ITV is developing its plans for covering the build-up and reaction to the crucial Commons vote next Tuesday, and a range of voices and opinions will be represented on the subject of Brexit in our output.”

The decision means that the only programme currently due to go ahead on Sunday is to be broadcast on Channel 4, which will show The Real Brexit Debate, featuring “four high-profile politicians” reflecting a range of opinions from across politics.

- Press Association

More on this topic

Johnson vs Hunt in the battle for Number 10 as Gove narrowly misses out

Michael Gove eliminated in Tory leadership contest

Bitter bust-up of the Brexiteer big guns battling for the Tory crown

Taoiseach: 'Enormous hostility' in EU towards a further extension to Brexit

More in this Section

What are the next steps in the Tory leadership race?

Court victory for campaigners over UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Moon and Mars not top priorities for Americans on space programme wishlist

Speedboat death: Jack Shepherd loses appeal against manslaughter conviction


Lifestyle

Pop-up gardens show off the best of the Ancient East

Ask Audrey: I keep having filthy thoughts about boy-racer types from West Kerry

The history of eyelashes: The tiny hairs that hold huge sway in the beauty industry

Garry Ringrose on playing the long game

More From The Irish Examiner