Bitesized Blighty: November 29, 2019

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  • Boris Johnson was on Thursday night replaced on live TV by an ice sculpture after he refused to take part in a Channel 4 election debate on climate change, prompting furious Tory claims that the broadcaster was “biased” and had organised a political stunt. Lee Cain, Mr Johnson’s director of communications, wrote to Ofcom, the regulator, claiming the move was “part of a wider pattern of bias by Channel 4 in recent months” and suggesting it should block the broadcast.
  • Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is coming under growing pressure from his party’s own candidates to rethink his “ludicrous” election strategy and focus efforts on staving off an anticipated Tory onslaught, rather than trying to gain seats across the country. Mr Corbyn has been visiting a large number of Conservative seats that he hopes to win, but an in-depth YouGov poll this week suggested the party should instead be focused on defending 44 Labour seats at risk to Boris Johnson’s party.
  • Britain’s academics are in revolt. Lecturers at 60 universities, including world-renowned institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge, began eight days of strike action this week. Almost 1m students will have lectures and seminars cancelled during the walkout, prompted by a dispute over pay, working conditions and pensions. 

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