First televised election debate agreed - but no invite for Jo Swinson

PUBLISHED: 18:19 01 November 2019 | UPDATED: 18:31 01 November 2019

Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson. Photograph: PA/TNE.

Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson. Photograph: PA/TNE.

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The first televised election debate has been set for November 19th - but it will only feature Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson.

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The debate will be aired on ITV and it will be the first time the party leaders go head to head in the election campaign.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn challenged Johnson to a debate earlier in the week, and on Friday said it was "welcome" that he accepted.

"This is a once in a generation election. So it's welcome that Boris Johnson has accepted our challenge of a head to head TV debate. The choice could not be clearer: Boris Johnson's Conservatives protecting the privileged few or a Labour government on the side of the many," Corbyn tweeted on Friday.

Johnson also took to Twitter to comment on the debate.

"Looking forward to making the positive case to the country that we should £GetBrexitDone & deliver on the people's priorities - #OurNHS, schools, tackling crime & the cost of living," he said.

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The prime minister was accused of running scarred from TV debates by rival Jeremy Hunt during the race to take over the Tory Party after the departure of Theresa May.

Johnson did take part in two one-on-one debates during the battle for the Tory crown, but not before Hunt and others placed him under great pressure to do so.

The move was criticised by the Lib Dems - who claimed it was a debate between two politicians who wanted Brexit.

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Ed Davey said: "Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are running scared.

"They appear determined to block the woman leader of the strongest party of Remain from the debate stage.

"They know that their vision for our country can't compare to the Liberal Democrat plan to stop Brexit and build a brighter future."

ITV Press Centre said details of further multi-party debates will be released in due course.

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