Seven representatives from Britain’s major parties took part in a live BBC election debate tonight. Senior members of the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru and the Brexit Party were present for the debate chaired by Nick Robinson.
Who took part in the BBC debate?
- Conservatives’ Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak
- Labour’s shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey
- Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson
- SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
- Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price
- Former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas
- Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice
He tweeted: “Strikes me from #BBCDebate that one side in Brexit debate more divided that than the other tonight.
“Tories and Brexit Party – both Leave – avoided real confrontation.
“But there was a fair bit fire between the others; Greens attacking Lib Dems, SNP and Plaid attacking Labour.”
The start of the debate focused on how to tackle security issues, with little disagreement on supporting police.
There were also heated discussion over Brexit.
Asked about Brexit, a referendum and revoking Article 50, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said her party has ”led the campaign for a People’s Vote and we want to stop Brexit”.
The Green’s Caroline Lucas, however, said a “unilateral revocation” would be “a slap in the face” to people who voted leave.
Ms Lucas said the Prime Minister’s earlier claim that he can “get Brexit done” was “a lie”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was also criticised over his stance on Brexit by Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price.
Ms Swinson compared leaving the EU to “episode one of a 10 season box set”, adding that ”if you don’t like what you’ve seen up to now you don’t have to watch the rest.”
A major clash between SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and the Brexit Party’s Richard Tice over a no-deal Brexit also took place.
Mr Tice told the Scottish First Minister “that’s not how you negotiate” after Ms Sturgeon asked whether the Conservatives would rule out no-deal.
The most passionate debate, however, was about the NHS.
Three of the participants gave personal stories of their experiences to emphasise why it’s so important to them.
Mr Sunak said the Conservatives are deeply committed to the NHS and they are investing in 50,000 nurses, stressing “the NHS is not for sale, never has been, never will be.”
But Ms Long-Bailey said they had learned not to trust a word the Tories say on the NHS.
The Brexit Party’s representative accused the Labour Party of not knowing the difference between buying and selling.
Ms Sturgeon challenged the Conservatives to support a law preventing the NHS from being included in trade talks.
Other issues covered in the debate included immigration, climate change and trust.