Gordon Brown is expected to announce today at the Labour Party Conference that he is willing to take part in a televised debate with David Cameron and Nick Clegg.
Senior Labour strategists have advised the PM to take a firm stance and take up the challenge, before Conservative leader, Cameron, uses disagreements over the format of the debate to back out of it, the Times reported.
Until now, Brown has avoided televised debates, claiming that the correct form to hold the leader to account is at the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions.
The question of a live debate has caused disagreement among broadcasters. ‘Industry insiders’ told the Times Sky News has refused to join the BBC and ITV in setting up a negotiating team over the debate, fearing the other broadcasters will fail to give it an equal share.
In early September, Sky News asked viewers to sign an online petition demanding the debate, saying it would host it even if the PM did not partake. Rival broadcasters claimed the public call was a publicity stunt.
Televised political debates are common in America, but such a debate has never taken place in the UK.