Party leaders have rushed to criticise David Cameron, calling him a “chicken” who is “running scared”.
The prime minister said yesterday he would not take part in any TV election debates unless the Green Party was also given a podium.
Three general election TV debates are planned for this spring and will be televised on ITV, the BBC and Channel 4 in partnership with Sky News.
Broadcasters have said David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage should be included in at least one debate but have been criticised for excluding Natalie Bennett, the Green Party leader.
A poll by ICM at the end of last year found an overwhelming 79% of the public thought Bennett should be allowed to take part in the debate.
Cameron said: “I don’t think the current proposals work. You can’t have one minor party without having another minor party and I think that’s only fair.”
The Conservatives have allegedly introduced a number of barriers to Cameron taking part, including wanting to hold the debates in January, and asking for other parties to be included, such as Northern Ireland’s largest party, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
The other three main party leaders have accused the PM of “running scared” of the debates, after he said he wouldn’t take part unless the Green Party was allowed to join.
David Cameron should stand on his record and stop running scared of TV debates.
— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) January 8, 2015
@David_CameronCome on David Cameron, the broadcasters have invited us, the public expect it, just say yes and stop making excuses.
— Nick Clegg (@nick_clegg) January 8, 2015
Looks like Mr Cameron is a chicken running scared over the TV debates. RT if u believe we should be in the debates: https://t.co/HpjI3ylULC
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) January 8, 2015
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