The broadcaster is “disappointed” an agreement could not be reached and cited issues over the format could not be finalised. It is understood the key stumbling block was their plan to have a further eight panelists along with Mrs May and Mr Corbyn so the debate was “fair and appropriate”. In a statement the BBC said: “We are disappointed that we could not reach an agreement on the BBC’s proposal for a debate on Brexit.
“We have been clear throughout the whole of this process that, as well as a substantive head-to-head debate, any programme we broadcast would need to include other voices, including other political parties, to reflect the wide range of views the public and parliamentarians hold about Brexit.
“The final proposal we put to both of the main parties was for a head-to-head debate between the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition, followed by a discussion between eight panellists, including politicians, with a wide range of views on Brexit, and ending with further head-to-head debate and closing statements.
“We believe ours was a fair and appropriate format for those taking part and, crucially, for our audiences around the country, and it is a shame we will not be able to bring them this programme.”
However a debate could still happen on rival broadcaster ITV who also made an offer – which was favoured by Mr Corbyn.
Mr Corbyn last week complained on This Morning that the BBC’s proposal would clash with jungle-based reality show I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!
On Monday, the Prime Minister expressed concern that holding the debate on ITV would mean she missed Strictly Come Dancing.
Earlier this week the labour leader criticised the BBC proposal calling it a “mish-mash” and not a “genuine head-to-head debate”.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Labour leader said: “The BBC’s latest proposal is a mish-mash, with a lop-sided panel of other politicians and public figures, not a straightforward head-to-head debate. The BBC could – as ITV and Sky have proposed to do – fairly represent other viewpoints and parties in other programmes on its network.
“The public has a right to a genuine head-to-head debate on the Prime Minister’s worst-of-all-worlds deal.”
Mrs May previously welcomed a debate with Mr Corbyn, she said: “I am going to be explaining why I think this deal is the right deal for the UK – and yes, I am ready to debate it with Jeremy Corbyn. Because I have got a plan. He hasn’t got a plan.”