Tories accuse Keir Starmer of bottling weekly TV election conflict | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Rishi Sunak threw down the gauntlet to “spineless” Keir Starmer with a problem to debate him nose to nose each week till election day.

The Labour chief beforehand swaggered “bring it on” when requested if he would go up in opposition to the Prime Minister in a sequence of daunting tv showdowns.

But Tories consider Sir Keir will bottle it as a result of he’s too afraid of a humiliating “take down” by the hands of the PM.

Conservative Party Chairman Richard Holden stated voters deserve the possibility to scrutinise Sir Keir.

He advised the Daily Express: “It’s no surprise that spineless Sir Keir Starmer is now chickening out of debates that he publicly promised to do just months ago.

“It’s time for Sir Keir to grow a backbone – the public deserve to hear and scrutinise what the man who wants to be our Prime Minister has to say before he changes his mind, again.”

Labour failed to respond to the challenge, refusing to say if it will take part in any TV head-to-head at all.

The first debates were held in 2010 with David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown battling it out.

But the prime time clashes are viewed as a danger point for leaders in case they torpedo their campaign with a poor performance.

Mr Sunak’s team believe he can expose the Labour leader’s hollow pitch to run the country.

The PM took a direct aim at his opponent from the lectern in Downing Street as he triggered the election, telling the nation: “If you don’t have the conviction to stick to anything you say, if you don’t have the courage to tell people what you want to do and if you don’t have a plan how can you possibly be trusted to lead our country, especially at this most uncertain of times?”

A supply near the PM stated: “Rishi Sunak is up for debating Keir Starmer as many times as he likes.

“And if Starmer doesn’t want to do it, what is he hiding? If he has all these great plans, why doesn’t he come out and say what he wants to do?”

On the primary full day of the marketing campaign, Mr Sunak headed to the East Midlands earlier than visiting Inverness with Scottish Conservative chief Douglas Ross.

He was given a lift when Reform UK president Nigel Farage introduced he won’t stand within the election.

But the main Brexiteer insisted he’ll nonetheless play a serious half within the social gathering’s marketing campaign and has stepped again from his function at GB News for the following six weeks.

He will head out throughout the UK once more in the present day will a promise to maintain family payments down.

Sir Keir headed to Gillingham Football Club with deputy chief Angela Rayner for the primary day of campaigning and claimed the election is a alternative between “two different countries, two different futures”.

He stated: “This election is about a choice: Two different countries, two different futures.

“Decline and chaos continuing under the Tories, or rebuilding our country under Labour.

“The power of the vote is with you. If you want change, you have to vote for it.

The PM said he chose to call the election months earlier than expected because “the economy has turned a corner”.

He stated: “I think after a difficult few years, I’m pleased that economic stability is now returning to the country.

“We’ve just seen that inflation has returned to normal, the economy is growing at a healthy rate again, wages have been rising sustainably for several months now, and although I know not everyone is feeling the full benefits of that yet, it’s clear that we have turned a corner.

“So now is the moment to look to the future, and the world is clearly in a more uncertain place than it’s been in decades. And the question for the country is, the choice of this election is, who’s got the boldest ideas, the clearest plan to provide a secure future for you and your family?”

Mr Sunak insisted that his “bold” Rwanda asylum coverage is a key dividing line on the common election, though he conceded no planes will take off till after polling day.

He claimed Sir Keir would do “absolutely nothing” to tackled the small boats disaster, and would as a substitute “offer an amnesty to illegal migrants”.

Mr Sunak admitted it was a “a bit wet” when he launched the election in pouring rain outdoors No 10.

But he insisted: “I’m not a fair-weather politician.

“I believe very strongly in the traditions of our country. And when you’re making a statement of that magnitude as Prime Minister, I believe in just doing it in the traditional way, come rain and shine, in front of the steps of Downing Street.”