Broadcasters pile on pressure for TV debate

By staff

BBC, ITV and Sky have submitted proposals to Britain’s three main political parties for three live televised debates during the coming general election campaign.

The joint statement increases pressure on Gordon Brown to accept David Cameron’s calls for a televised debate.

The proposals would give each broadcaster responsibility for producing and broadcasting one debate. These would be broadcast live in peak time by the originating broadcaster, before subsequently being made available to the others.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg jumped to accept the broadcasters’ proposals. His Twitter feed said: “Have just said yes to leadership debates – let’s see what Downing Street says.”

Mr Brown had been expected to accept the challenge of a televised debate by Mr Cameron in his leader’s speech to the Labour conference in Brighton on Tuesday.

He failed to do so. No 10 has indicated the prime minister has made his decision but prefers not to reveal it just yet.

A joint team has been formed by the three broadcasters which will discuss detailed plans with Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.