Cameron puts question mark over TV general election debates by insisting that Greens involved

Prime Minister David Cameron has thrown this year’s proposed general election TV debates into question after saying he won’t participate without the Greens.

Under plans agreed by broadcasters in October there three televised debates are proposed ahead of the May general election.

Former Newsnight host Jeremy Paxman would chair a one-on-one contest between Cameron and Miliband for Sky News and Channel 4.

The Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders would clash in a BBC debate presented by David Dimbleby.

And the trio will be joined by UKIP leader Nigel Farage for an ITV programme chaired by Julie Etchingham.

But Cameron yesterday told ITV News: “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.

“I think if we're going to have other parties into these TV debates, I think you've got to have those parties that are represented in the House of Commons. That's my strong view."

Ofcom yesterday announced a consultation on whether UKIP should join the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats on its list of major political parties for England and Wales.

The broadcasting regulator said: “Ofcom’s initial view is that UKIP may qualify for major party status in England and Wales for the General Election and English local elections on 7 May 2015.”

Rule 6.2 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code states that due weight must be given to the broadcast coverage of major parties during the election period

Ofcom said: “It is the responsibility of broadcasters to determine the structure, format and style of election coverage such as leaders’ debates. The decision on which leaders are represented in any possible election debates is an editorial matter for broadcasters in agreement with the political parties taking part.”

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