Theresa May’s decision to miss a major television debate ahead of the General Election came under fire after Jeremy Corbyn’s surprise decision to take part.
The Prime Minster said she wanted to speak directly with voters instead of “squabbling” with other party leaders so Home Secretary Amber Rudd was sent out to represent the Conservative party instead, despite her father dying just two days earlier.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron slammed the Prime Minister for “running away” from the BBC debate in Cambridge on Wednesday evening.
He said: “Good leaders don’t run away from a debate. Theresa May should undoubtedly be here.
“Whatever we’ve discussed this evening, her absence is undoubtedly the shadow that hangs over this election.
“How dare you call an election, then run away from the debate.”
In his closing remark, he also quipped that Mrs May “can’t be bothered” to turn up and suggested viewers switch over to the Great British Bake Off instead of listening to Amber Rudd.
“You’re not worth Theresa May’s time. Don’t give her yours,” he said.
Nicola Sturgeon also missed the debate, with SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson sent as her replacement.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Ukip’s Paul Nuttall, Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru and Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas completed the seven-party lineup.
Leanne Wood added: “Theresa May called this election because she is taking you for granted.
“She won’t turn up to these debates because her campaign of soundbites is falling apart.”
The hashtag #WheresTheresaMay was also widely used during the television showdown.
However her absence was surprisingly not mentioned by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
A Labour source told the Press Association: “May’s absence spoke for itself. If she won’t debate, how can she negotiate?
“There was only one future Prime Minister on the stage and Jeremy used the opportunity to lay out our plans to transform Britain for the many not the few.”