Downing Street has accused Jeremy Corbyn of “running scared” from the televised debate, following Prime Minister Theresa May’s earlier claim of the Labour leader “playing politics” in a bid to capitalize on the Brexit shambles.
The Labour Party swiftly responded, accusing the prime minister of looking to avoid scrutiny and playing games “as she did during the  general election campaign.”
Corbyn on Saturday said he would back down as long as the debate is a straight head-to-head confrontation between himself and PM May. The BBC typically adopts a format which includes head-to-head debate time and questions from a panel.
The government has insisted it has done its best to meet Corbyn’s “confected demands”, and a spokesperson on Monday suggested they don’t intend on making further changes.
"A week ago, the PM challenged Jeremy Corbyn to a head-to-head debate. He accepted. But if Jeremy Corbyn doesn't agree to what's now on the table – a debate on prime time with the Prime Minister – the public will rightly conclude he's running scared. So let's get on with it,” a No 10 spokesperson said.
MPs will vote on the prime minister’s draft Brexit deal in the Commons on December 11, with May looking to secure at least 320 votes to get the agreement through parliament.
However, with several Tories staunchly opposing the deal, and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) threatening to vote it down, it is unclear how the PM can possibly rally enough support to avoid yet another embarrassing defeat in parliament.