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  1. ITV Report

General Election 2019: What you need to know today

Your morning briefing to all the key election news and our latest expert analysis. Credit: ITV News
  • By ITV News Content Producer David Williams

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will go head to head on camera tonight for the last time this election but it's the TV grillings the PM is snubbing which are continuing to make the headlines.

Mr Johnson has refused to be questioned by Julie Etchingham for ITV’s Tonight programme and Andrew Neil on the BBC - a combative combination which all the other main leaders have faced.

"It is not too late. We have an interview prepared. Oven-ready," Neil quipped beside an empty chair.

The PM's instead been looking to control the messaging, deploying the same pre-debate tactic as the eve of the ITV head-to-head earlier in the campaign by crafting another attack letter to Mr Corbyn.

But Mr Johnson can expect to face more questions on the rise of the tax burden under the Tories on a Friday when all the main parties are out and about with less than a week to go until polling day.

ITV News will be sharing all the key speeches and campaign appearances as they happen throughout the day as part of our daily Campaign Live coverage.

You can follow all the key live events on itv.com/news Credit: ITV News

Here’s what's in store today:

  • Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will face each other in a head-to-head BBC Election Debate in Kent
  • The PM is expected to make campaign appearances in the county ahead of the evening filming
  • Jeremy Corbyn will attack Tory cuts on public services at a London news conference on the day Labour promotes a plan to help small businesses
  • Jo Swinson will visit a playground in Hampshire to discuss the Lib Dems' childcare policy
  • Nigel Farage will hold a Brexit Party press conference on defence spending and help for veterans
  • Nicola Sturgeon will appear on This Morning as the SNP tour bus drives on to North East Scotland
  • Tony Blair and Michael Heseltine will be among speakers at a 'Stop the Brexit Landslide Rally' in London

Here's what's making Friday's early election headlines:

The view from the campaigns

Paul Brand shares more anecdotal evidence from the campaign of life-long Labour voters showing support for Boris Johnson.

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Libby Wiener weighs up the impact of Jeremy Corbyn's latest anti-Semitism problem for Calling Peston (listen in full below).

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Despite claims the Libs Dems aimed way too high at the start of the campaign, Rebecca Barry shares clear evidence Jo Swinson is on target to knock Boris Johnson off his perch - then looks ahead to Friday.

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Emma Murphy wonders how the Brexit Party will shake off the impact of a quartet of MEPs departing so late in the campaign.

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Calling Peston: The ITV News Election Podcast

Shehab Khan and Daniel Hewitt are calling Robert throughout the campaign. Credit: ITV News

As already mentioned, getting Boris Johnson to sit down and face difficult questions is proving harder you'd think in this election.

Robert has achieved it, so Shehab (flying solo for the first time without Daniel) wants to know: what's it actually like to interview him during this campaign?

Robert shares his insights on facing a "bulldozer".

In addition, Libby Wiener dissects the latest anti-Semitism development affecting Labour, while Paul Brand is on hand to analyse the Tory pitch for the first 100 days in power, should it be won.

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ITV News Political Correspondent Daniel Hewitt and Political Reporter Shehab Khan are digesting the campaign every weekday - and dialling in Robert to get his take on it all.

The Calling Peston podcast is taking you behind the scenes of life reporting on the election campaign trail, hearing from our reporters on the road across the country.

The episodes appear each weekday at 5pm. Download it from wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Robert Peston: Why Boris Johnson's Brexit election is all about trust

Robert Peston says Boris Johnson has offered voters 'no guarantees' and 'no compelling vision'. Credit: PA

Interviewing Boris Johnson on my show, I ended up feeling a bit sorry for Jo Swinson, leader of the Liberal Democrats, writes ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston.

Because for him the election is a proxy for another referendum. His whole mantra is "get Brexit done, and move on".

Swinson's position of "revoke and move on" is a wholly rational response in the context of Johnson's framing.

But apparently what is democracy in action for Johnson is anti-democracy when the Lib Dems react. We are truly in the "age of unreason".

Some of you will be screaming that "we had a referendum, so the only legitimate way to cancel it is to hold another one".

Except under our unwritten constitution referendums have no legal force, and are certainly inferior in their democratic weight to general elections.

Read Robert's analysis of the PM's relationship with the issue of trust.

Today's question: Why have the rich Tories tightened the Facebook purse-strings?

There's clear distinction between the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems in Facebook ad spending. Credit: PA

Come on Conservatives we know you’re flush with cash so why aren’t you spending it?

The Tories simply aren’t buying on Facebook like they did in 2017, writes ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn.

In the last 30 days the Tories have spent just £222,000 on the platform, small change compared with the last election when they registered spending of £2.1 million.

We know they aren’t short of money, their latest weekly donations showed an income of £3.5m between 20-26 November, according to the Electoral Commission.

Of course they might be about to render this copy redundant and bombard voters with a whopping online campaign.

But if they don’t it would mark an extraordinary change of political tactics.

Read more from Rupert and find out how much all the main parties are spending on Facebook advertising.

Don't Mention the 'B' Word!

Susan Young is the latest voter focused on a particular issue away from Brexit in this election.

Here she explains to ITV News Tyne Tees why she believes the next government needs to do a better job on social housing.

Watch her thoughts above and find out if any of the party manifestos meet her demands.

Plus, as ever, here are your...

Here's the best of Thursday's campaign stories:

What's happening away from the election?

Here's what else is making the news today: