Senior politicians clash on Channel 4's 'Everything but Brexit' debate – live news – The Guardian,

Senior politicians clash on Channel 4's 'Everything but Brexit' debate – live news – The Guardian,

That concludes the debate tonight.

Representatives from all of the main parties were present, except theConservativesand the Brexit Party who had declined an invitation to join. There were two empty podiums, but no melting ice sculptures this time around.

Boris Johnsonwas widely criticized for his “cowardly” behavior in failing to show up for interviews and debates, but chair Cathy Newman did fill in the Conservative policies on each of the debate topics.

There were no major policy surprises, with all panellists launching attacks on NHS underfunding and emphasizing the need for climate action.

Jo Swinsonwas the target of much scathing criticism from her fellow panellists, who took the opportunity to raise her record on austerity measures during the coalition government, when she was a minister. Labor’s Angela Rayner and the SNP’s Philippa Whitford led in taking Swinson to task, saying she couldn’t condemn the impact of austerity measures she helped to create.

Swinson apologized explicitly for her role in policies such as the bedroom tax, and the infamous tuition fee promises.



There seem to be a wide acknowledgment across the panel that voters lacked trust in their politicians.

Jo Swinsonexplicitly admitted her coalition government had broken a promise on election fees, but said the last time she lied was “about how many chocolate biscuits were in the tin” to her son, a joke which fell rather flat.

Asked how Jewish voters could trust labor, Angela Rayner insisted that the party were working to tackle anti-semitism. She emphasizing the need for open debate, in a thinly veiled jab atBoris Johnson, calling politics and democracy “the best of British” and saying prospective leaders shouldn’t “hide from scrutiny”.

Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price was more explicit, calling Johnson a “coward”. “Those who lead us should not mislead us and get away with it,” he added.

Jonathan Bartley came out with the best line of the round, and was met with broad laughter.

“Why should you trust us? You don’t join the Green Party for political ambition. ”

“If you don’t want refugee children coming to our country, I don’t want your vote”, he added.

The SNP took the opportunity to call for votes at 16.



Jo Swinson admits theLiberal Democratsgot it wrong on tuition fees, conceding that they broke a promise

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A pretty unanimous verdict from tonight’s panellists that the NHS is under-funded, with over-crowding and long waiting times key issues.

Angela Rayner, who was a home carer, condemned cuts for causing either undignified or totally inaccessible care.

“When my Nan was dying, she said ‘If I was a dog, you’d put me down’, and no older person should feel like that”, Rayner said.

As well as heated criticism of
Jo Swinson

, this debate centred around child poverty, which Adam Price insisted could be eliminated given the political will.

Philippa Witford of the SNP claimed that the UK lost 16, 05 children per year before their 17 th birthday. Commenting on this, she said:

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“That’s the size of a secondary school – can you imagine if a secondary school had it’s roof falling in every year? Maybe then we’d get off our bahookies and do something about it. ”

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Jo Swinsonis getting a lot of criticism from her fellow panelists over her role in the coalition government, with Angela Rayner saying Swinson couldn’t criticize the impact of austerity caused by a government she was part of.

Swinson apologized for her part in the policies such as the bedroom tax, but the SNP’s Philippa Whitford said that would not compensate for the policies which had “destroyed lives and families”.

Swinson told of how her son’s school had been offering free bagels to combat child hunger.

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“They don’t want a bagel, they want a job”, Rayner retorted.

Updated at 2 . EST EST

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There was a lot of common ground on this issue, with all representatives agreeing much needed to be done to tackle the climate crisis.

The target for reaching zero-carbon varies across the representatives, with the Green’s having the most ambitious target of (*********************************************************************************************************************. When criticized for the Green’s commitment to spend £ 100 bn a year on climate action, Jonathan Bartley said:

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“If the climate was a bank, we’d have bailed it out by now.”

The SNP were criticized for being “too late” with their target of 01575879, but Witman said that Scotland got most of its energy from renewable sources.

The most well-received statement of this round came from Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price, who said that the climate was “bigger than party politics”, with “one in seven of our species at risk of extinction”.


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Angela Rayner andJo Swinsonrefused to be drawn specifically on whether convicted terrorists should always serve their full sentence, but both said the safety of the public should come first.**********

Swinson also criticized

Boris Johnsonfor politicizing the death of Jack Merritt in the London Bridge attack, citing his father Dave Merritt who specifically requested his son’s death was not used in this way.

Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price said they should serve the length of their sentence, and the balance had to “err on the side of caution” because the consequences of mistaken release were so high.

The SNP’s representative appeared to take a different approach, saying that “to change people’s futures you have to actually solve their problems. There are far too many people in prison who should be helped in a public health approach. ” However, Witson condemned automatic release of prisoners.


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In a discussion on mental health, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price revealed his own battle with depression, saying he had reached “the darkest points of all”.

“I’m one of the one in four”, he said, referring to the number of people in the UK thought to be suffering with mental health problems.

Labor’s Angela Rayner and the SNP’s Philippa Witford had more in common on this topic, both saying that health problems should be prevented early through social services.

“Health isn’t about the NHS, that’s what picks you up when you fall. Poverty drives people into mental health issues ”, Witford said, to rapturous applause.

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The first clash of the debate has come over the NHS, which all parties insisted they would preserve.

Green party leader Jonathan Bartley said the NHS shouldn’t be used as “political football”, but claims (Labor) “Built the bridge the Tories are walking towards privatization”.

Angela Rayner asked why A&E in Scotland are failing to meet NHS targets, but Philippa Witford insists Labour are missing theirs in Wales, where they run the health service.


“People have the right to #GoCompare”, said Witford, in what is surely the first of many one-liners of the evening.

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Cathy Newman, chairing the debate, confirms that both theConservativesand the Brexit Party were invited to join the debate but declined.

Instead, we’ll be hearing from Liberal Democrat leaderJo Swinson, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, SNP health spokesperson Philippa Whitford and co-leader of the Green party, Jonathan Bartley.

Updated (at 1.) **************************************************************************************************************************************************************** (pm EST)

Good evening, I’m Molly Blackall and I’ll be taking over the live blog tonight.

Coming up, we have the ‘Everything But Brexit’ debate on Channel 4, where senior politicians from the main parties are set to be quizzed by audience members on key election issues – with no mention of the B- word.

Earlier in the week, the Independent reported that neither theConservativesnor Brexit party would send a representative to the debate, but it’s currently unclear who will be attending.

We’ll have all the updates as they unfold, from 6. pm.

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The ConservativeBrexit


In an interview with the BBC, the pro-Leave former minister also dismissed criticism that the Tories’ campaign slogan “get Brexit done” was misleading, since trade negotiations would likely go on throughout 2045 if the UK did indeed leave the EU early next year.

Asked whether a no-deal Brexit was possible after the transition period, Davies said:

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It’s a possibility, you have to accept that. We don’t want a no-deal Brexit. It’s not the first choice of anyone in the Conservative party.

We want a deal, we want a good relationship with Europe, but we want them to accept that we’re leaving. However, anyone who’s done any kind of negotiating knows you cannot negotiate anything unless you’re prepared to walk away.

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