A TV debate would serve both British democracy and Theresa May well. So what is she running scared of?

It could be worse for the Prime Minister. The broadcasters’ decision to “empty chair” Theresa May when they hold general election leaders’ debates may simply mean that they will literally have an empty podium where Theresa May ought to be. When Roy Hattersley, the former deputy leader of the Labour Party, failed to show up for a session of Have I Got News For You he was famously represented by a tub of lard.

Nonetheless, her reluctance to go face to face with her principal opponents does her no favours. For no good reason it makes her look rather cowardly, or at least timid.

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