Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn both put on spot in live TV grilling

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn both put on spot in live TV grilling

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn were forced to defend their records as they faced a live TV grilling.

The UK Prime Minister came under fire from members of the studio audience over her cuts to public services and her plans for social care.

Mr Corbyn faced questioning on his attitude to security issues and past comments about the IRA and the Falklands War.

Appearing on a Sky News/Channel 4 "Battle for Number 10" broadcast, the Labour leader refused to be drawn on whether he would authorise a drone strike against a terrorist plotting overseas to attack the UK.

"It is a hypothetical question," he said. "We have to look at the evidence that is there at the time to make that fatal decision one way or the other."

Mr Corbyn, a lifelong opponent of nuclear weapons who has made clear that he would never authorise their use, nevertheless indicated he would issue the customary final instructions to the commanders of the Trident submarine fleet if he became prime minister.

"I will write the appropriate letter to our commanders who are obviously very responsible, very loyal naval officers," he said.

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn both put on spot in live TV grilling

During her grilling from the studio audience, Mrs May was accused by a police officer of presiding over "devastating" cuts, asked by a midwife to justify her "chronic underfunding" of the NHS and heckled over school funding.

The Prime Minister insisted that she was determined to do the right thing for the country, referring to her reputation as a "bloody difficult woman".

"Doing what is the right thing by the country. Sometimes you have to be difficult in order to do that," she said.

"We need to have a government that is open about these things and is willing to find ways of addressing them.

"If in order to address them and do the right thing by the country, it takes being a difficult woman, then that's exactly what I will be."

Mrs May also reaffirmed that she would walk away from the forthcoming Brexit negotiations without a deal rather than accept a "bad" deal.

"I think you have to. In negotiations you have to recognise that you're not in there to get a deal at any price."

Under the format agreed by the two parties, the two leaders each faced 20 minutes of questions from the audience with a further 18 minutes in front of interviewer Jeremy Paxman, with Mr Corbyn going first.

More on this topic

British police ’formally considering’ allegations Tories broke law due to call centre use British police ’formally considering’ allegations Tories broke law due to call centre use

UK government's 'shabby deal' with DUP branded a threat to Good Friday AgreementUK government's 'shabby deal' with DUP branded a threat to Good Friday Agreement

Everything you need to know about the Conservative-DUP dealEverything you need to know about the Conservative-DUP deal

Theresa May has bought herself time but she remains on probation, warns Tory MPTheresa May has bought herself time but she remains on probation, warns Tory MP

More in this Section

Harry Dunn death: ‘Fugitive’ wife could face arrest if she tries to leave USHarry Dunn death: ‘Fugitive’ wife could face arrest if she tries to leave US

May raises questions over Queen’s Speech immigration and justice plansMay raises questions over Queen’s Speech immigration and justice plans

Hillsborough match commander ‘deep in thought’ before giving order, court toldHillsborough match commander ‘deep in thought’ before giving order, court told

Celebrities supporting Extinction Rebellion admit to being hypocritesCelebrities supporting Extinction Rebellion admit to being hypocrites


Lifestyle

We know porridge is one of the best ways to start the day but being virtuous day in, day out can be boring.The Shape I'm In: Food blogger Indy Power

Sheila O’Flanagan can’t pin down an exact number of books she has written.First lady of fiction: Sheila O'Flanagan is happy to be accessible

This might not be the most entertaining topic but it is that time of year when colds, flus and nasty bugs enter classrooms and homes.Mum's the Word: Top tips for keeping nasty bugs and illnesses at bay

Laura Whalen is a Munster-based dollmaker and mother-of-five, and the founder of the Bábóg project, a community crafting drive to make a commemorative doll for all the babies born in Irish mother and baby homes.Made in Munster: Meet the West Cork dollmaker who uses bio-degradable materials for her craft

More From The Irish Examiner