Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are too scared to debate Jo Swinson

So, ITV is holding a leaders’ debate of sorts.

They’ll have two divisive men fighting out which form of brexit they want on 19th December.

I can’t think why Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn  don’t want to be shown up by an assured, articulate, likeable woman presenting the argument for remain with vitality and emotional intelligence.

Ed Davey said they were running scared:

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.

If you think that we need Jo up there putting the case for remaining in the EU, sign up here. 


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in News.


  • David Becket 1st Nov '19 - 8:31pm

    When you look at Boris’s track record it is not surprising he does not want to debate with a sharp mind like Jo.

    GARDEN BRIDGE £43 Million wasted
    WATER CANNON Purchased but illegal to use
    BORIS BUS Expensive, no other operator would touch them, Manufacturer went bust
    AIRPORT Idea that did not Fly
    BREXIT ADVERTS Preparing for Oct 31st, did not happen, £100M wasted
    UNDERGROUND TICKET OFFICES. Pledge not to close any, he closed the lot
    IRAN He made things worse for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, held in Iran

    £350M a week for NHS if we leave the EU. Not a word of truth
    Negotiation a trade deal with the EU will be easy. Not a word of truth
    Would lie down in front of bulldozers to stop Heathrow expansion. Made sure he was away when vote taken in House of Commons
    Stop rough sleeping in London. Rose by 130% during his term as Mayor
    1000 extra police during his time as Mayor. No increase in police numbers
    Negotiate a no strike deal for the London Tube. Would not meet union officers during his term
    Would bring LT fares down. 2/3rd increase during his term as Mayor
    I will not allow the congestion charge to rise above £8.It rose to £11.50 during his term of office.
    Will not close fire stations or remove appliances Ten fire stations closed and 27 engines removed.
    Not to have a border between the mainland and Northern Island, then created one
    To leave the EU by October 31st. Failed
    To run as a One Nation Tory. Many One Nation Tory MPS have walked.
    To bring the Tory Party back together when elected leader. 21 MPs fired, 3 joined the Lib Dems and 25 are leaving.

    GET BREXIT DONE NOW Negotiations will drag on for years and years
    NHS NOT FOR SALE TO USA Trump is in charge, UK the minnow partner
    MILLIONS TO BE SPENT With a poor deal Brexit the money will not be there
    ON SERVICES (This is a repeat of Labour’s Magic Money tree)

    His use of intemperate Language to describe his opponents has fuelled the hatred around today.
    I suggest this man is not fit to be PM of this great country

  • They probably remember 2010’s first debate on ITV, the one that coined, ‘i agree with Nick’.

    Watched by no less than 9.4 million viewers ,Clegg became an overnight sensation. Although his star waned with middling performances in the next two debate. For a brief time he was the most popular politician in Britain, according to polls.

  • Tony Greaves 1st Nov '19 - 10:44pm

    Should we not be taking ITV to court over this? It is a shocking attempt to rig the playing field from the very start. ITV are an utter disgrace. No doubt to be followed by the BBC…

  • nigel hunter 1st Nov '19 - 11:07pm

    Yes ,Cleggs debate was good. Then he lapsed. Jo will be seen in a debate /debates and must be aware of being good in ALL those she undertakes to avoid cleggs mistakes.

  • Yeovil Yokel 1st Nov '19 - 11:09pm

    Perhaps, Tony, we need the help of Spiderwoman, although I believe she may have retired from the Supreme Court.

    I don’t think we should involve lawyers just yet, the campaign still has 6 weeks left to run.

  • The media are desperately trying to make this a two horse race. The media should be informed if we gain power in any way their arses are toast.

  • Arnold Kiel 2nd Nov '19 - 7:30am

    I am not sure this is a problem. Boris-fans are unreachable for her, and Corbyn is good enough to stabilise all others. Remainers should be sufficiently motivated, with or without a strong debate performance by Jo. This is no Clegg-moment where manifesto-differences did not divide voters looking for leadership. All she could achieve would be at Labour’s expense which is unproductive in most places. Why not let the blue and red leavers reinforce remainers’ dislike for both of them.

    Besides, I expect this to be a boring debate. There will be no new arguments, and no chance for any of the two to reach across tribes. Jo will be fine watching this on the tele.

  • I totally agree with Tony Greaves. I’m amazed at how quietly the party is taking this undemocratic snub. I was disappointed the link was not a nationwide link petition demanding the third-party be equally represented Already BBC News is playing the election as if it is it a two party fight. The only third-party they’re interested in to date is the Brexit party. I’m amazed at how little Coverage they are giving us.. We will be sidelined and our polling will slip unless we start fighting this.
    We should been warning all the TV stations that we demand good coverage otherwise we will take them to court.The public will also see that we are a force to contend with and not frivolous amateurs On the sidelines of the main battle.

  • John Marriott 2nd Nov '19 - 8:30am

    Not scared, just oblivious. They think it’s all over. It isn’t yet! (Sorry, Mr Wolstenholme)

  • Paul Bennett 2nd Nov '19 - 9:03am

    Please – one debates issues, not people. Let’s not copy the American ignorance of the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs.

  • Agree with above – individually we should complain to ITV, and the party should seek an injunction (not least because it’ll make any other broadcaster think twice)..

    Aside from party politics, it’ll mean no remain voice at this ‘rebate’!

  • Richard Underhill. 2nd Nov '19 - 10:29am

    Layla was on Question Time, wearing gold, symbolic of Olympic gold, same colour as the Nepalese Liberal Democrats, for printers Pantene Gold.

  • Richard Underhill. 2nd Nov '19 - 10:51am

    There is still time to act in the Commons. Take control of the agenda, establish the principle of votes at 16.
    In 1974 there was a hung parliament followed by a second general election in the same year. That could happen in 2019.
    There would then be enough time for registration in England.

  • marcstevens 2nd Nov '19 - 10:52am

    I have already complained to ITV about this as it is undemocratic for other parties with MPs not to be represented in this debate highlighting the Lib Dems as a case in point. I am awaiting their reply.

  • Need to turn it to our advantage. Tony Greaves is right. Should be consulting lawyers and seeking an injunction.
    Need Gina Miller to take a court action!

  • John Marriott 2nd Nov '19 - 11:26am

    @Paul Bennett
    ‘One’ might; but most people are more interested in the person, unfortunately. A perfect example of that would seem to be the way that some LDV contributors (and editors) are presenting Jo Swinson.

    Like you I have a desire to preserve the English language. However, if you are referring to the verb ‘debate’ I would have thought that, as a transitive verb taking an object, that object could equally well be a person or an idea.

  • David Evans 2nd Nov '19 - 12:40pm

    I’m very surprised at the fact that we haven’t already taken action to appeal against this decision. It was clearly a possibility we should have anticipated in our pre-election planning and had a response ready.

    The fact that we seem to be simply taking it on the chin simply emphasises how weak some of us at the centre are when it comes to the streetfight that is politics. A party with a leader claiming to be the next prime minister shouldn’t stand for this. We have to stand up to this now or our chance will be gone.

    A mass complaint to the ITV, organised by the national party, should already be rolling forward. Every one of our members and supporters should have a message from Jo telling them how to do it. Also a legal challenge should have been made already.

    We have got to stop being the party of just leave it to individual members and actually be a mass movement. Otherwise we will be written out of the entire story.

    Come on Jo make it happen!

  • I have written to ITV expressing indignation, citing discrimination of more than one sort, also the BBC asking them not to fall into the same trap.
    All parties affected should be seeking an injunction.

  • George Burn 2nd Nov '19 - 2:26pm

    Completely agree re criticism of ITV, unbelievably anti democratic to exclude Lib Dems and Brexit Party (both polling over 10%). Given parliamentary representation, the SNP, DUP and Greens also have legitimate grounds for complaint.

    I emailed a complaint to ITV and tweeted them too yesterday. Not that it’ll make any difference to the decision.

    Oh and also agree with Paul Bennett re the headline to this post: “debate Jo Swinson” should be “debate with Jo Swinson”.

  • Paul Barker 2nd Nov '19 - 3:13pm

    We should be making much more noise about this, as well as promoting the Petition, how about Crowdfunding for Legal Action ?
    If all else fails how about disrupting the Broadcast itself ?

  • Sue Sutherland 2nd Nov '19 - 5:40pm

    They aren’t just stopping Jo being heard, they’re putting a gag over the mouths of the millions of people who voted Remain.

  • Not quite sure why prepositions are in such danger of extinction these days, but the American practice of dropping them still grates a bit with this oldie.

    So please could we restore debating with someone and appealing against something? 🙂

  • Isn’t it strange, that Boris Johnson would like voters opposing him to unite behind Labour instead of being divided between Labour and the Lib Dems?. It’s like he would like to have a rerun of the 2017 GE. Well,.I can’t even begin to guess, what’s going on in Dominic Cummings’ head.

  • I can see why it suits both Cons and Labour to keep Jo out of the debate – they can both only lose votes to her. We know Johnson doesn’t do detail – he will waffle, deflect and generally avoid saying anything of substance beyond campaign slogans. I have no doubt that Corbyn will do better on the night, but the Conservatives will be counting on Corbyn starting from low personal approval ratings, and then hatchet-job attacks by the right wing press the morning after.

    Jo is still relatively unknown to the general public, and a good performance against the 2 establishment men could go down well.

  • David Evans 3rd Nov '19 - 10:43am

    Great to see we have lodged a complaint against the ITV decision. We now need to launch a legal challenge on Monday to make sure the decision is reversed.

    We have to be prepared to play hardball if we are serious about Jo winning. Go for it Jo!

  • Peter Martin 4th Nov '19 - 9:44am

    “They’ll have two divisive men fighting out…….”
    “……don’t want to be shown up by an assured, articulate, likeable woman”
    “They appear determined to block the woman leader……”

    Why Is gender an issue in this instance?

    The present day ‘progressive left’ is increasingly losing its traditional working class support base. The number, as a % of the total, of genuine working class MPs, of all races and genders, is the lowest it’s been for at least 100 years. How may Lib Dem candidates would be genuinely from the working class?

    Class inequality has largely been forgotten. It is only gender, race ad sexual issues that matter to many now. Of course, these are important, but they should be viewed as being in addition, and not instead of, the general question of inequality in our society.

    The Brexit issue hasn’t helped, with may working class Leavers being descried as stupid and unintelligent. I’m including remarks made before the EU referendum by, for example, Emily Thornberry. So, it’s not just a Lib Dem failing.

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