Leaders Debate

No clear winner in Johnson and Corbyn head-to-head

Civil order: Boris Johnson shakes Jeremy Corbyn’s hand in pledge to end hostility

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn engaged in a choreographed and predictable TV head-to-head debate with each trying to land punches on Brexit and the NHS, but neither emerging as a clear winner.

A snap YouGov/Sky News poll on who performed best was evenly split, with Mr Johnson on 51% and Mr Corbyn 49%.

The Prime Minister took every opportunity to focus on his opponents failure to clarify his Brexit position – which began to draw groans from the audience – while Mr Corbyn stuck to accusing Mr Johnson of wanting to sell the NHS to big US businesses.

Mr Corbyn said Labour would negotiate a new agreement that would be put alongside Remain in a referendum and the government would abide by the result. 

The audience in Salford laughed when Mr Corbyn claimed to have been ‘clear’ despite repeatedly dodging the question on whether he would support Leave or Remain. 

He once again ruled out doing a deal with the SNP on a Scottish independence referendum.

The hour-long “debate” became little more than a tit-for-tat squabble, ITV newscaster Julie Etchingham reduced to the role of referee than questioner. Pundits on social media said neither leader was given enough time to explain their case.

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