The BBC has announced that it will not be airing a Brexit debate featuring Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn this weekend.
Last week, May agreed to go up against Corbyn in a live debate, but they failed to reach an agreement on what form the programme should take.
After plenty of back and forth over the BBC’s plan, ITV’s rival one and whether it’s fair that the debate would clash with popular reality TV shows, the BBC has shelved its offer.
In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson said the corporation is “disappointed” an agreement on the debate format could not be reached.
“We have been clear throughout the whole of this process that, as well as a substantive head-to-head debate, any programme we broadcast would need to include other voices, including other political parties, to reflect the wide range of views the public and parliamentarians hold about Brexit,” the statement read.
“We believe ours was a fair and appropriate format for those taking part and, crucially, for our audiences around the country, and it is a shame we will not be able to bring them this programme.”
If it had gone ahead, the BBC debate would have featured a head-to-head debate between the prime minister and the Labour leader, followed by a discussion between eight panellists, including politicians, with a wide range of views on Brexit.
It would have ended “with further head-to-head debate and closing statements”, the BBC statement added.
There is no word yet on whether ITV’s proposal has been accepted.
May initially agreed to a live debate on the BBC last Thursday.
Just a day later, Corbyn – who had previously said he would enjoy the chance to go up against the prime minister on live TV – revealed he preferred ITV’s proposal, half-jokingly adding that it would mean he could still watch the ‘I’m A Celeb’…