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Neither leader attempted any jokes, and Boris Johnson’s typical verbal flair was not in evidence. Both men played it pretty safe, but the audience was clearly sceptical about their answers on several occasions, scoffing at Jeremy Corbyn’s evasion over Brexit and the prime minister’s record on telling the truth.

Overall pitch

Corbyn: The Labour leader’s big message was much wider than Brexit, making broad pledges about how Labour will share wealth and power, and on climate, the NHS and Brexit.

Johnson: The prime minister was keen to stress that the election was only happening because parliament was deadlocked over Brexit. He repeated his mantra over and over again that a Conservative-majority government would get Brexit done, and that Labour would cause “dither and delay”.

Best line

Corbyn: The Labour leader waved a redacted document, obtained under a Freedom of Information request, that covered early trade negotiations between the UK and US. It was quite a moment as he accused the prime minister: “You’re going to sell our NHS out to the US and big pharma.”

Johnson: The prime minister had Corbyn most on the ropes when pressing him about his position on Brexit. “He will not set out his plan, and will not be clear whether he’s for leave or remain. He is refusing to rule out campaigning against his own deal,” he said.

Strategy

Corbyn: The Labour leader used every opportunity he could to highlight the threat to the NHS from a Conservative government. He attempted to move the conversation away from Brexit and on to domestic policy.

Johnson: His main aim was to get through the debate without losing his temper or making any major gaffes, while ramming home the message that he would “get Brexit done”. Read more

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