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MP Bob Neill echoes Theresa May's stance on election TV debates, saying they make 'no difference'

PUBLISHED: 13:28 02 May 2017 | UPDATED: 13:28 02 May 2017

Bob Neill MP

Bob Neill MP

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The Bromley and Chislehurst MP has faced some opposition from Labour leader Angela Wilkins who claims May is missing the opportunity to get into "every living room"

Labour leader Angela WilkinsLabour leader Angela Wilkins

Bromley and Chislehurst MP Bob Neill has stated he believes TV debates will make ‘no difference’ to who is elected in June’s general election.

Last week prime minister Theresa May ruled out appearing in any live TV debates during the general election campaign, with a Conservative party spokesperson stating there is no need for the public to see May face off against Jeremy Corbyn.

The spokesperson said: “The choice at this election is already clear: strong and stable leadership in the national interest with Theresa May and the Conservatives, or weak and unstable coalition government led by Jeremy Corbyn.”

During previous general election campaigns, BBC and ITV have hosted live TV debates with all the major candidates.

Echoing the party’s stance on the debates, MP Bob Neill, said: “I don’t think it’ll make the slightest bit of differnece. The public will weigh up the parties’ manifestos and pick who they think is the best candidate regardless.

“I don’t think TV debates do any harm, but they don’t make a difference either. If they public have concerns, they can raise them with their elected MP afterwards.”

However, Bromley Labour leader, Angela Wilkins, has stated she doesn’t understand why Theresa May wouldn’t want to get into “every living room in the country”.

She said: “Televised election debates and the rows about which leaders will and will not take part have become part of every general election jamboree – it wouldn’t surprise me if there was more media coverage given to this than the debates themselves.

“What I don’t understand though is why Theresa May thinks it’s acceptable to demand a stronger mandate from voters and yet isn’t prepared to put herself up for challenge and scrutiny in a leaders debate.

“These debates have their limitations, but she can’t knock on everyone’s door during the campaign – this way she could get into every household. Clearly she’s worried she’d make a gaff or a bad impression, or that people might see Corbyn as a more genuine alternative prime minister.

“Mind you, I don’t accept her reasons for calling the election either – she just seems to want to shore up her own position and to avoid being held to account by either opposition MPs or the public.”

Theresa May called a snap general election last month, giving just five weeks to campaign. It will take place on June 8.

Results

Beckenham

  • Bob Stewart (Con) 27,955
  • Marina Ahmad (Lab), 9,484
  • Rob Bryant (Ukip) 6,108
  • Anuja Prashar (Lib Dem), 3,378
  • Ruth Fabricant (Green) 1,878

Majority: 18,471

Bromley and Chislehurst

  • Bob Neill (Con) 23,343
  • John Courtneidge (Lab) 9,779
  • Emmett Jenner (Ukip) 6,285
  • Sam Webber (Lib Dem) 2,836
  • Roisin Robertson (Green) 1,823

Majority: 13,564

Lewisham West and Penge

  • Jim Dowd (Lab) 24,347
  • Russell Jackson (Con) 11,633
  • Tom Chance (Green) 4,077
  • Gary Harding (Ukip) 3,764
  • Alex Feakes (Lib Dem) 3,709
  • Martin Powell-Davies (Ind) 391
  • David Hansom (Liberty GB) 160
  • George Whale (Change) 44

Majority: 12,714

Orpington

  • Jo Johnson (Con) 28,152
  • Idham Ramadi (Ukip) 8.173
  • Nigel de Gruchy (Lab) 7,645
  • Peter Brooks (Lib Dem) 3,330
  • Tamara Galloway (Green) 1,732

Majority: 19,979

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