Lib Dems face increased scrutiny at first Cabinet TV debate

By politics.co.uk staff

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Ed Davey faced some tough questions on the party’s foreign policy commitments today, during the first TV debate of would-be Cabinet ministers.

In the first election debate since the Lib Dems took the lead in the polls Mr Davey joined shadow foreign secretary William Hague and foreign secretary David Miliband in facing questions from presenters Andrew Neill and Mark Urban.

Foreign Affairs debate as-it-happens

Mr Davey was forced to defend several manifesto pledges with regard to Trident, the defence of civil liberties and others about the Liberal Democrat policies with regard to both Europe, America and Afghanistan.

It was the first of the BBC’s daily ministerial debates, which are being broadcast by the Daily Politics programme.

Since the leaders’ debate on Thursday the Liberal Democrats have shot up in the polls, coming ahead of both the Conservatives and Labour in two over the weekend.

The party’s improved polling has led to an increased focus on its policies, similar to that which the Conservatives and Labour have been under for some months.

This was highlighted in the debate when Mr Davey not only faced sustained critical questioning, but also an increased focus on the Lib Dems’ policies as opposed to their objections to Labour and Tory plans.

The three men were answering questions on a number of topics including Afghanistan, European sovereignty, racial profiling and the nuclear deterrent.