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ITV News poll: PM has damaged his reputation over TV debates

David Cameron has damaged his reputation by trying to avoid TV debates with other leaders, according to a new ComRes poll for ITV News.

The poll found 64% of people agreed with this statement. However, nearly half (46%) said the debates would make no difference to the way they vote in this year's General Election.

The results come as Lord Grade, a former chairman of ITV and the BBC, told Chris Ship that the broadcasters are threatening politicians "in an illegal fashion" over the debates.

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Downing St 'is getting desperate' over TV debates

Paddy Ashdown has said the suggestion David Cameron is being "bullied" by broadcasters over his stance on TV debates is "ridiculous".

The former Lib Dem leader said he did not think much weight should be given to the comments made by former BBC and ITV chairman Lord Grade that a debate without Cameron would breach impartiality claims.

He told ITV News: "Lord Grade has had a very distinguished broadcast career, but he is speaking as a Conservative peer in the Conservative interest.

"And I, frankly, don't see why we should give any more weight to his statements than exactly that."

He added he thought it was a slight indication of the "desperation" at Downing Street that they asked Grade to speak out on their behalf.

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