Nicola Sturgeon was campaigning in Fife yesterday but would not participate in the debate
The SNP’s Westminster leader, Angus Robertson, was sent to Cambridge to take Nicola Sturgeon’s place at the live BBC television debate on Wednesday evening.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd represented the Tory party while the other five panellists were all leaders of their parties.
Mrs May has been slated for not taking part, especially after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn made a last minute decision to attend despite saying he would not unless Mrs May did.
But Ms Sturgeon has managed to avoid the levels of criticism aimed at Mrs May.
Any theories on why Nicola Sturgeon gets a pass for not turning up to the debate?
Linda Grant, author
Mr Robertson, MP for Moray, is deputy leader of the SNP as well as the party’s spokesperson on the constitution in the House of Commons.
He joined political leaders at the debate in questioning Ms Rudd over why Mrs May was not there, despite the SNP leader not being present.
The TV election debate – in pictures Wed, May 31, 2017
The televised debate saw Jeremy Corbyn, Amber Rudd, Paul Nuttall, Caroline Lucas, Angus Robertson, Tim Farron and Leanne Wood go toe-to-toe
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The politicians taking part in the debate
An SNP spokesman said the reason Ms Sturgeon did not partake was because she is the First Minister of Scotland and an MSP, but not an MP, so is not running in this General Election.
He added: “Nicola Sturgeon was never taking part as she is the First Minister of Scotland and not running in this election.
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“She also had First Minister’s Questions (FMQs) on Thursday and would not have been able to get back to Holyrood from Cambridge in time.
“She has taken part in all the other debates.”
Angus Robertson (r) represented the SNP in the debate
The debate finished at 9pm on Wednesday and FMQs starts at 12pm every Thursday.
Also participating in last night’s debate was Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, who is in the same position as Ms Sturgeon.
Ms Wood is a Welsh Assembly Member but is not an MP so is also not running for parliament in next Thursday’s General Election.
Ms Sturgeon had to be back in Edinburgh for FMQs today, her spokesman said
Amber Rudd was questioned by every panellist apart from Corbyn over where Mrs May was
While Ms Sturgeon has not been hauled over the coals publicly for not participating, several viewers noticed she was missing from the line-up.
Author Linda Grant, whose novel The Dark Circle won the Orange Prize, tweeted: “Any theories on why Nicola Sturgeon gets a pass for not turning up to the debate?”
Marilyn Anderton, added: “Yes it was a Leaders debate but not one of the cowardly leaders in the debate questioned where Sturgeon was, they just bullied Amber Rudd.”
Vanessa Christie, said: “Nicola Sturgeon was also absent from the debate and sent her deputy, no one seems to have mentioned that.”
Several people also reminded the BBC Mrs May was not the only leader who did not show up, after reports during BBC Breakfast and Radio 4's Today programme said it was a “leaders debate with one missing”.
Andrew Cuff, said: “@BBCBreakfast Nicola Sturgeon wasn’t at the debate either last night.”
Phillip Taylor, added: “@BBCr4today Why not saying Nicola Sturgeon also didn’t turn up for the debate?”