Jeremy Corbyn is set for a showdown with Amber Rudd
The Home Secretary, standing in for Theresa May, laid into Jeremy Corbyn over his refusal to back terror laws over 30 years as politicians from five leading parties discussed the security of this country.
During the BBC live debate, the Tory said: "I am shocked that Jeremy Corbyn in 2011 boasted that he had opposed every piece of anti-terror legislation in 30 years.
"I find it chilling."
But the embattled Labour leader was quick to defend his stance saying Mrs May and Brexit secretary David Davis had also voted against the legislation.
Speaking in Cambridge, he said: "My opposition to anti terror legislation is not opposition to protecting us from terrorism – it's saying there must be judicial over sight over what is done in our name."
He threw down gauntlet to Mrs May today, claiming it was "ridiculous" she was not going to participate in the seven-way showdown, involving the Lib Dems, UKIP, SNP, Green Party and Plaid Cymru are also on the panel for the seven-way BBC debate in Cambridge.
He said: "How ridiculous is that?. Come on, prime minister, come and have a chat, come and have a debate.
But Mrs May insisted she was too busy "thinking about Brexit negotiations" to take part in the debate on BBC1, which starts at 7.30pm.
When quizzed over her no show, the prime minister said:"Jeremy Corbyn seems to be paying far more attention to how many appearances on tele he's doing. I think he ought to be paying a little more attention to thinking about Brexit negotiations. That's what I'm doing."
Here are live updates and the latest breaking news as the debate happens…
The TV election debate – in pictures Wed, May 31, 2017
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
The televised debate saw Jeremy Corbyn, Amber Rudd, Paul Nuttall, Caroline Lucas, Angus Robertson, Tim Farron and Leanne Wood go toe-to-toe
PA 1 of 15
The politicians taking part in the debate
8:59pm: Amber Rudd ends the debate saying the evening's showdown was an example of the "chaos of a coalition in action"
She said Mrs May is the "strongest leader to take us through Brexit.
Ms Rudd added: "Only Theresa May that can deliver that."
8:58pm: Farron focusses on Mrs May decision to not attend the debate in his closing statement, saying: "She can't be bothered, so why can you?
"You are not worth Theresa May's time, so don't give her yours."
8:57pm: Corbyn says it is a "real choice facing our country".
He said: "This election will decide whether young people are saddled with debt or free from it.
"To decide whether we invest in our schools and social care or whether they will be cut.
"You have the power to decide, vote Labour for the many not the few."
8:56pm: Now the leaders are delivering their closing statments in what has been a very heated debate. Nuttall says Ukip will always be the outsider in English politics, but they have been proven right.
8:53pm: Angus Roberton says it is a "totally unneccesary election."
He describes Mrs May's leadership as "weak and wobbly", before adding: "Not so much the iron lady but the U-turn queen."
8:51pm: Caroline Lucas has laid in to the prime minister saying the first quality needed for leadership is "to show up".
Tim Farron chimes in saying "how dare you call an election and run away from the debate?"
Farron was keen to lay into Theresa May for her no show
8:48pm: Ms Rudd, standing in for her party leader, says it is all about having a strong team behind you, before sniping: "Jeremy only decided to come late this morning. I was rather hoping Diane Abbott might be here."
8:46pm: Question six is "In what way does your leadership have the talent and character needed to take this country forward?" – cue the insults over Theresa May's no show.
8:43pm: Ms Rudd says it's "disappointing" that America is pulling out, to which Leanne Wood shouts "tell him he is wrong".
The home secretary responds laughing: "That's not how diplomacy works."
8:42pm: Caroline Lucas says we should ignore Trump and have no fracking as she thanks the audience member for asking the question her party has been protesting about for years
8:41pm: Question five is "How would you deal with President Trump pulling out of the Paris climate change agreement?"
8:39pm: Paul Nuttall has asked Corbyn why he invited Hamas to Westminister
8:34pm: Green Party leader Caroline Lucas has gone on the attack again asking Ms Rudd why Britain is selling arms to Saudi Arabia , but the home secretart says she "will make no apology"
8:31pm: Nuttall says politicians don't have the "courage" to admit the problem is "Islamist extremism".
He said: "I cant believe we have let 350 jihadis back in to our country. We need to get the Muslim community to sign up to the Prevent programme."
He added: "Radical Islam is a cancer".
Nuttall says politicians should have the courage to admit radical Islam is a problem
8:30pm: Lib Dem leader Farron says we need "serious action" to combat terrorists who despise our way of life.
8.27pm Ms Rudd said we need the right legislation to defeat terorrism before laying into the Corbyn over his oppositon to anti-terror leglislation saying: "He must be held accountable for that because I find it chilling."
But Corbyn hits back saying Mrs May voted with him against anti-terror legislation in 2005 and David Davis too.
8:24pm: Labour leader Corbyn has said the country needs more police officers and says it is a mistake to leave large parts of the world ungoverned.
8:22pm: The third question is "What are your priroties to making Britain safer and the world a safer place?"
8:18pm: Tim Farron accuses the prime minister of wanting "a blank cheque" to do whatever she wants on issues like social care payments because she is confident she will get a majority in the general election.
8:16pm: When quizzed over the Tory party's plan to protect pensioners, Ms Rudd said: "We have made a clear decision to protect the poorest.
"Pensioners will protected. Winter fuel payment wont be paid to millionaires."
Corbyn and Robertson both challenge the home secretary to say they will protect the triple lock.
But Ms Rudd tells them they should read the manifesto.
8:14pm: Corbyn says we must support the Libyan people rather than just "go in and bomb".
Amber Rudd accused Labour of having "fantasy" economic plans
8:13pm: As Corbyn discusses his plans to help children in Britain, presenter Husain interrupts to say "Are you sure your figures add up? It was only yesterday you couldn't remember the cost of your policy" before laughing.
But Corbyn proceeds to say Labour would scrap tuition fees, which would cost £11billion.
8:10pm: The third audience question is "How can we trust you on public services? Where will the money come from?"
8:08pm Caroline Lucas and Amber Rudd are involved in a heated debate as the Green party leader says she cannot trust her.
Ms Lucas says it's "unbelievably cruel" to use these immigrants lives as bargaining chips.
8pm: Corbyn has failed to reveal figures for Labour's migration policy plans.
He said the nation must "recognise the contribution from people to our health service and universities".
The Labour leader said he wanted a "a fair and managed migration policy based on needs of this country".
When quizzed on what he meant by fair, he replied: "Fair is where you bring people in when they've got jobs to come to and when we need them to assist in the economy.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) May 31, 2017
7:59pm: Caroline Lucas has accused Ms Rudd of being "downright insulting".
7:58pm: Rudd says Britain's immigration policy will "always attract the brightest"
7.57pm: Nuttall says it will be "very easy" because "we will control our own borders" and called for the introduction of an Australian-style point system to reduce migration.
7:56pm: The second question is "How will we ensure we have the workers and skills needed to make the UK a success after Brexit?"
7:55pm: Amber Rudd has accused Corbyn of having "fantasy economic policies", saying he has a "money tree wish list".
7:52pm: Nuttall says an introduction of corporation tax will make big busineses leave Britain
7:51pm: Corbyn has asked Ms Rudd "have you been to a food bank? Have you seen the levels of poverty that exist because of your government's conscious decision on benefits?
When quizzed over his plans for corporation tax. he said: "We cannot go on giving more money to the rich."
Snap election 2017: The pictures politicians may not want you to see Sat, May 27, 2017
Protests, fights and daleks, it's all happening as the politicians hit the campaign trail for the snap election
PA 1 of 48
Jeremy Corbyn during a visit to Hackney Marshes Football Pitches, to highlight Labour's manifesto commitment to ensure 5% of the Premier League's television rights income is diverted to the grassroots game, during a General Election campaign
The leaders are involved in a heated debate
7:46pm: When told to answer the question, Ms Rudd said the Tory party would "aways provide a safety net" for people living on the bread line.
7:44pm: Amber Rudd was first to answer but as she turned to Brexit,Jeremy Corbyn interuppted promising to lift the pay cap on the public sector and introduce a living wage of £10 an hour by 2020.
7:41pm: The first question from the audience member is "how are you going help working people?"
7:40pm: Tim Farron launched a scathing attack on Mrs May social care policy saying: "Where is Theresa May, she might be outside your house sizing it up for social care?"
7:38pm: Angus Robertson urged people to vote for "strong SNP voices in Westminister."
He said: "A vote for SNP is a vote against Tory cuts that will harm your public services. It's a vote for jobs and against an extreme Brexit.
7:37pm: Paul Nuttall doesnt want to be held down by the westminister elite.
He said "Ukip believes in Britain".
Corbyn has gone head to head with Amber Rudd
7:36pm: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Labour would deliver for a "country for meany not just the few."
He said there would be "no tax rises for 95 per cent of tax payers, adding" those with most will contrinute bit more".
He added: On June 8 you can vote the Conservatives to have more cuts in services and living standards or vote Labour to transform the country for the many not the few."
Corbyn also accused the Conservatives of planning another five years of austerity to pay for tax handouts for the wealthy if they win the General Election on June 8.
In his opening statement in the BBC's election debate, the Labour leader said there was "nothing remotely strong or stable" about the Tories' record in office.
"Now the Conservatives want five more years of cuts to our vital public services to fund tax handouts for the wealthy few. Labour will make very different choices," he said.
The BBC debate has begun
7:35pm: Home Secretary Amber Rudd says the Tory party has " a plan that doesn't duck hard choices about living within your means" and a plan to "stablise the economy and get more people in employment."
She voted the Conservatives will create "a country that works for everyone."
She said: "I am sure you will hear pretty bluff and brovado.
"Who should be in Number 10 to steer Britian to a brighter future."
She accused the Labour part of having "no plan for Brexit" whereas Mrs May has a "record of delivering and a clear plan for Brexit and a strong team behind her."
7:34pm: Caroline Lucas has delivered her opening statment for the Green Party saying: "You can lay foundations for a new kind of politics. Your vote can change everything."
7:31pm: The debate has started and Mishal Husain appears to have taken a swipe at Mrs May..
She said:"Seven leaders are here and others chose to send senior representatives."
The 7 parties have drawn lots for order of opening & closing statements & podium positions. Questions are coming from audience #BBCDebate
— Mishal Husain (@MishalHusainBBC) May 31, 2017
Stage set for the only 7-way TV debate of the campaign: Cons, Labour, LDems, Plaid Cymru, SNP, Green Party, UKIP pic.twitter.com/JWKAkjyJbB
— Mishal Husain (@MishalHusainBBC) May 31, 2017
7:22pm: Corbyn took to Twitter hours ago to challenge May to join him on the stage tonight. But the prime minister is going to be a no show.
7:18pm: BBC presenterMishal Husainhas tweeted live from the stage to show where the leaders are set for the showdown in a matter of minutes.
7:15pm: Tonight's debate will begin with an opening statement from Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, followed by Caroline Lucas, Amber Rudd, Jeremy Corbyn, Angus Robertson and Tim Farron.
Mishal Husain will then invite questions from the audience before each leader makes their concluding remarks at the end. Ms Rudd will have the final say.