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Live Reporting

Ella Wills, Katie Wright, Victoria King and Mary O'Connor

All times stated are UK

  1. Recap on tonight's debate

    That's where we leave the live page for tonight.

    Thanks for joining us as we covered the Question Time special, featuring Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon, Jo Swinson and Boris Johnson answering question time from the audience.

    What were the key points made by the various leaders?

    Jeremy Corbyn

    • The Labour leader was up first to take questions. He saidhe would "remain neutral"in the Brexit referendum planned by Labour and not campaign for Leave or Remain.

    Nicola Sturgeon

    • The SNP leader and Scottish first minister said she was prepared to make a deal with Labour if Jeremy Corbyn committed to end austerity and agreed to hold another Scottish independence referendum.

    Jo Swinson

    • The Liberal Democrat leader was grilled on austerity and her record in government while in coalition with the Conservatives between 2010 and 2015.

    Boris Johnson

    • The prime minister was challenged on comments he made in articles as a journalist - the now infamous "letter boxes" article he wrote was highlighted by presenter Fiona Bruce. Mr Johnson defended his "right to speak out". He was also pushed on issues of trust.

    More from us on the general election campaign over the weekend. Join us then.

  2. Analysis: what does Corbyn's Brexit statement show?

    Iain Watson

    Political correspondent

    It's not clear if the lively grilling of major politicians will shift the dial at this election.

    But it certainly marked a shift in Jeremy Corbyn's position on Brexit.

    He had been put under pressure by his opponents to say whether he would support Leave or Remain in the new referendum Labour is promising.

    So he tried to eliminate a negative by providing clarity, of a sort: a clear commitment to stay neutral.

    Labour's strategists are suggesting he could now be seen as an honest broker that can bring a divided country together.

    In truth, though, behind the scenes there are fears that the party may have over-estimated the threat from the Lib Dems and underestimated the importance voters in Leave areas attach to delivering Brexit.

    So his neutrality is in part an attempt to reassure those voters that his promised referendum isn't the means of cancelling Brexit by the back door.

    His followers will say he has risen above the fray; his critics - that he has become more decisive about sitting on the fence.

  3. No comfortable ride for party leaders

    Laura Kuenssberg

    BBC political editor

    Elections are important and full of life, exactly because the public, not pundits or parliamentarians are in charge.

    That's what we saw tonight.

    It was not a comfortable ride for any of the four who appeared in front of the audience in Sheffield who were pressed on issues as broad as the economy, austerity, Brexit, Bolivia, the Russia report, racism, the NHS and plenty more.

    It was particularly uncomfortable for the Lib Dem leader, Jo Swinson, who was pummelled by the audience over her promise to stop Brexit by simply halting the process altogether in the unlikely event she won a majority.

    There were moments of real challenge too for Boris Johnson first on a very simple question - can he be trusted?

    The audience's attitude made it clear they have a big question about that, and about him.

    Jeremy Corbyn was made to squirm over his record on tackling anti-Semitism - one member of the audience telling him he was terrified for his daughters because of Labour's handling of the issue.

    Nicola Sturgeon also faced repeated questions on whether independence for Scotland was viable.

    But in terms of the impact on the overall campaign, beyond the view from the nation's sofas on just one night, the main revelation perhaps was Mr Corbyn's promise that he would be neutral if there is another referendum on staying on the EU.

    Read more from Laura.

  4. Papers: Corbyn 'neutral' on Brexit

    The front pages are starting to come in and the Times, the Telegraph and the Guardian are all leading on Jeremy Corbyn saying he would remain neutral in a future Brexit referendum if he won power.

    The Times front page
    The Daily Telegraph
    Guaridan front page
  5. Brexit Party attacks Corbyn as 'cowardly' for neutral Brexit stance

    Brexit Party MEP Lucy Harris

    Brexit Party MEP Lucy Harris, who earlier interjected as Labour's Andy McDonald spoke to Nick Eardley, apologised for the interruption, saying she "couldn't contain" herself.

    She accuses Mr Corbyn of being "completely cowardly" in taking a neutral stance on Brexit when, she says, the reason the UK is leaving the EU is so it can take back control of its laws.

    Responding to Nick Eardley's challenge that the Brexit Party's 22 page manifesto is "not a manifesto for government", she says she would not call it a manifesto, but a "contract to the people".

    She says the party is expecting to return MPs in seats like Ashfield in Nottingham, and in marginal seats where people are "fed up of Labour" not delivering for working-class voters.

  6. Five moments from the Question Time special

    We've put together our five key moments from tonight's programme - ranging from Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit stance to Boris Johnson's comments on the Russia interference.

    The straight-talking audience also get a mention.

    Read more here.

    Question Time audience
  7. Watch: Johnson defends stance on Russia report

    During the Question Time leaders' special, Boris Johnson was challenged as to why a report on alleged Russian interference in UK democracy has not been published.

    Below you can watch his response, where he dismissed suggestions he was trying to suppress the findings.

    Video content

    Video caption: Boris Johnson defends stance on alleged Russian interference report
  8. In pictures: Leaders...and Fiona Bruce...on Question Time

    Jeremy Corbyn
    Nicola Sturgeon
    Jo Swinson
    Boris Johnson
    Fiona Bruce
  9. Trust between people and politicians 'at all-time low'

    John Pienaar

    Pienaar’s Politics

    The pressure on the leaders was absolutely unrelenting. The audience truly did their job.

    Fericious disputes between leaders and their supporters - that's absolutely a part of healthy politics.

    Now we’re seeing the level of trust between the British people and British politicians at the lowest level in modern times.

    It’s a depressing fact that this election could well be determined by which leader is distrusted the least.

    Boris Johnson may come away from this event content, relieved, that he did nothing to blow his consistent lead in the opinion polls.

    But this election and its aftermath could conceivably damage that relationship between people and politics to the point that, whoever wins, may find it very difficult, if not impossible to repair.

  10. What to expect in the Tory manifesto

    Boris Johnson

    The Conservatives have yet to publish their manifesto, so audience members were unable to quiz the PM on its contents tonight.

    But we have had some indication of what will be included in recent days.

    Here's the headlines from this week:

    Read more: Has Boris Johnson got National Insurance cut confused?

  11. 'Tough audience' for leaders

    Some of the journalists in the spin room have been giving their reaction to how the leaders performed.

    Henry Zeffman from the Times says it was a spiky couple of hours, and the most striking aspect was the "fired-up" audience who provided “a really tough crowd”.

    He says all four of the leaders faced “a frantic grilling” in different ways and on different issues.

    Ailbhe Rae, from the New Statesman, says Nicola Sturgeon's experience showed and she fared the best.

    She adds that Jo Swinson’s performance was interesting because we haven’t seen her in this context before and she was really tested.

  12. Analysis: Fewer facts, more opinion

    Chris Morris

    BBC Reality Check

    One of the interesting things was that because of the nature of the format, the leaders were being asked to justify their opinions, so there weren't a huge amount of facts to check.

    But there were a few old favourites that came up - such as Boris Johnson insisting that he is building 40 hospitals.

    There is money there for six hospitals – and they’re not new hospitals. They’re new buildings on six existing sites and 34 possible to come.

    Jeremy Corbyn insisted that 95% of people won’t be any poorer, they won’t have to pay any more tax. It’s true according to Labour plans, if their plans add up when it comes to income tax – but income tax isn’t necessarily the only way people’s overall wealth is affected.

    There were some tough questions. Jo Swinson had a particularly difficult time justifying the idea of revoking Article 50 and stopping Brexit immediately.

    For Nicola Sturgeon, this was the opportunity for her to present herself to England because she is someone they would know a bit less about than the other three, and she did quite well in that respect.

  13. Labour challenged over Corbyn's neutrality in second Brexit referendum

    Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald and Health secretary Matt Hancock

    Health secretary Matt Hancock cheekily gets in ahead of Nick Eardley to ask Andy McDonald, Labour's shadow transport secretary, if he would be neutral on a second Brexit referendum.

    Earlier, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the audience he would remain neutral in the second Brexit referendum promised by the party.

    Mr McDonald says that Mr Corbyn would be an "honest broker" of any re-negotiations with Brussels, adding Labour would "resolve a deal within three months because the work has already been done" by Mr Corbyn and Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary.

    When pressed on how Mr Corbyn could be neutral if it was involved in negotiating the deal, he says two options of a "credible deal" and the option to Remain would be put to the people, for them to decide the outcome.

    But Mr Hancock refuses to budge on his line of questioning about how Mr McDonald would vote - Mr McDonald says he voted and campaigned to Remain, adding he is "very un-neutral".

    Mr Hancock goes on to criticise "the total abject lack of leadership in saying you want a second referendum but then don't have a position, is it in or is it out, it's a very simple question".

  14. Who was missing from this evening's programme?

    This evening's two-hour TV special featured leaders from the UK's four biggest parties, but there are others to hear from in the lead up to the election.

    The BBC recently screened Question Time programmes with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley.

    Meanwhile Plaid Cymru party leader Adam Price took questions from a studio audience on BBC One Wales earlier this week.

    The BBC will also host a live head-to-head debate between the Conservative and Labour leaders on 6 December, plus a seven-way podium debate between senior figures from the UK's major political parties on 29 November, live from Cardiff.

    Channel 4 News will also host a debate focusing solely on climate change. Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and the Green Party have all agreed to take part, but the Conservatives not yet said whether they will attend. A date has not yet been announced for this debate.

  15. Question Time: Highlights from the leaders special

    Video content

    Video caption: Election 2019: Highlights from the Question Time leaders special

    The four party leaders are quizzed on Brexit in a Question Time special in Sheffield.

  16. Reality Check

    Checking Boris Johnson's claim on the NHS

    The prime minister said he’s putting "the biggest ever cash boost into the NHS”.

    But the average % increase (3.4%) is lower than that of Blair and Brown governments (6%).

    Boris Johnson also said there were 5,000 more NHS doctors this year than last year.

    The correct number is more like 3,000, according to NHS England stats.

  17. Watch: Swinson defends ambition to revoke Article 50

    Unsurprisingly, Brexit was a recurring theme during tonight's Question Time event. Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson told the audience that her party was being clear about its wish to stop Brexit.

    Watch that clip below.

    Video content

    Video caption: Election 2019: Jo Swinson defends ambition to revoke Article 50
  18. SNP challenged over putting Corbyn into No 10

    Stuart Hosie  and Christine Jardine

    SNP candidate Stuart Hosie says Nicola Sturgeon was the clear winner from tonight’s leaders’ event.

    He says: “She was the best performer. She answered the questions honestly and openly, and I don’t think anyone can ask any more from a political leader.”

    Ms Sturgeon earlier said she was prepared to do a deal with Labour if Jeremy Corbyn committed to end austerity and agreed to hold another Scottish independence referendum.

    Mr Hosie was challenged repeatedly on that point by the Lib Dem’s Christine Jardine.

    In a lively exchange, she kept asking him if the SNP would put Mr Corbyn into No 10, telling him “to answer the question”.

    She eventually gave up, saying “we’re not going to get an answer”.

  19. Neutrality statement: has Jeremy Corbyn become more decisive?

    Iain Watson

    Political correspondent

    Referring to Jeremy Corbyn's statement on 'neutrality' on tonight's Question Time - he made explicit the implicit.

    He went further than saying he would do whatever a special Labour conference would decide after he negotiates a Leave deal - you could say he has become more decisive over sitting on the fence.

  20. Pidcock: Corbyn 'very clear' on Brexit

    Laura Pidcock

    In Jeremy Corbyn's corner in the spin room is Laura Pidcock, who says the Labour leader has been "very clear" on Brexit - but it is not the only issue which matters to the electorate.

    She says on the doorstep “of course it is an issue” but people also want to know about the NHS, schools and their pay.

    Earlier, we heard Mr Corbyn say he would "remain neutral" in the Brexit referendum planned by Labour

    She says Brexit is "a very important question" and the Labour leader has been the "clearest of all" that it is up to the people to decide what happens.

    She says the Conservative government's plan on Brexit has failed for the last three years.