Scottish Daily Mail

TV debates ‘without PM’ call


BROADCASTE­RS last night stood firm and threatened to ‘empty chair’ David Cameron in the TV election debates.

The BBC, Sky, ITV and Channel 4 insisted they would go ahead with three leaders’ debates despite the PM’s opposition.

TV executives rejected Mr Cameron’s plan for only one debate before the start of the formal campaign, leading Tory MPs to accuse the broadcaste­rs of ‘acting in their own interests’.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: ‘It’s got nothing to do with helping democracy, and everything to do with the vested interests of the TV channels. They want a row in a TV studio, but Britain wants a strong Prime Minister with an economic plan.’

Mr Cameron told broadcaste­rs in 2012 he felt the last debates had overshadow­ed the 2010 election campaign and that he wanted them to start earlier. This stipulatio­n was ignored.

But there are serious doubts about whether ‘empty chairing’ Mr Cameron, especially in the two-way debate, would be accepted by broadcasti­ng regulator Ofcom.

Ed Miliband said: ‘He should stop running scared. He should agree to these debates.’

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