Broadcasters reveal 2015 party leader TV debates plans

ITV, BBC, Channel 4 and Sky have revealed their plans for a series of live party leader debates in the run up to the 2015 General Election.

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PM worried TV debates may eclipse election campaigns

The Prime Minister has expressed concern that the leaders' TV debates could detract from "issues" in next year's general election, despite saying he thought they were "good".

Speaking on The Agenda, he said the debate on ITV before the last election "took all the life out of the rest of the campaign" and became a "commentary on who was doing well or badly in the TV debates".

He also said he didn't think Ukip could be included in the debates without offering the same opportunity to the Green Party.

Watch the full discussion on The Agenda on ITV at 10.35pm tonight

Party leaders' TV debates to make a comeback

Broadcasters announced their plans today for a series of televised debates between party leaders in the run-up to the next year's general election.

Providing he agrees, Ukip leader Nigel Farage will join David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg in one of the debates.

But a lukewarm reception from the Prime Minister and a possible legal challenge from the Green Party suggest this is not a done deal.

ITV News' Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports:


Miliband warns PM: No 'false obstacles' on TV debates

Labour Leader Ed Miliband has welcomed the televised debates and warned Prime Minister David Cameron not to put up "false obstacles" to them going ahead.

Mr Miliband said the most important thing was to give the public "what they're entitled to" with the TV debates.

"They happened in the last General Election. We must make sure they happen in this General Election," he added.

Cameron questions TV debate proposals

Prime Minister David Cameron says he in favour of plans for televised debates with each of the main party leaders ahead of next year's General Election.

But he questioned why the proposed debates could not be spread out over a longer period and why some political parties had been included and others excluded.


Cameron: 'Everyone must agree' on TV debates

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he is in favour of plans for televised debates ahead of the General Election.

But the Conservative Party leader said the proposal had to be one "everyone agrees to".

Green Party: Broadcasters 'out of touch' with debates

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett. Credit: PA Wire

Broadcasters are "out of touch" by excluding the Green Party from the proposed televised debates ahead of the General Election, leader Natalie Bennett said.

She said: "With these proposals the broadcasters are demonstrating just how out of touch they are with the public mood, and how ridiculously they cling to the idea that the future of politics looks like the past."

The Green Party leader said it was clear from votes and polls that the public were "fed up with the three business-as-usual parties" and were looking around for alternatives.

The party's supporters would be "seriously short-changed by debates from which we were excluded," Ms Bennett added.

Debates 'should be permanent feature of elections'

ITV would host one of the three debates. Credit: ITV

Televised debates involving the party leaders should be a permanent feature in General Election campaigns, ITV's Director of News and Current Affairs Michael Jermey said.

Viewers really engaged with the hugely successful leaders' debates four years ago and tell us that they found them very useful in understanding the issues and deciding how to vote.

The precedent set in Britain in 2010 should be followed up in 2015 and the debates should become a permanent feature in General Election campaigns.

– Michael Jermey, ITV's Director of News and Current Affairs
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