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Green Party to take legal advice over leaders’ debate snub



The Green Party of England and Wales has said it may take legal action after reports indicated it will be left out of televised party leader debates next year, while UKIP looks set to feature.

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In the run up to the 2015 general election, broadcasters will host a series of live multi-platform debates in which party leaders will be grilled over their policies.

Sky News, the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 have suggested that four separate debates would be held. Under the plans, prime minister David Cameron would take on Labour leader Ed Miliband in a head-to-head, before the two would be joined by deputy PM Nick Clegg for another debate.

After his party gained its first seat in parliament last week, UKIP leader Nigel Farage would join the final debate. 

However, these proposals have been questioned by the Greens and even by Cameron, as the environment and social justice focussed party has had an MP for four years. 

“With these proposals the broadcasters are demonstrating just how out of touch they are with the public mood, and how ridiculously they cling to the idea that the future of politics looks like the past,” said Green Party leader Natalie Bennett.

“It is clear from votes and polls that the public are fed up with the three business-as-usual parties and are looking around for alternatives. 

Cameron added, “I’ve always been in favour of TV debates. I’m in favour of TV debates, but you’ve got to make sure you come up with a proposal that everyone can agree to, and I can’t see how you can have one party in that has an MP in parliament, and not another party.” 

In a Tweet, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said the party was taking legal advice regarding the matter. 

The Green Party has increased its base support since last general election and gained 8% in the latest European elections, beating the Liberal Democrats (6.8%). In their 2014 annual conference, the Greens pledged to take on Labour in “a battle for the left”, proposing a raft of new social policies.

Photo: Edinburgh Greens via Flickr

Further reading:

Green Party prepares to challenge Labour in battle for the left

Liberal democrats set out ‘green laws’

Greens push Lib Dems into fifth place ahead of European election

Vote Green (where they can win) if you care about the future

The Guide to Sustainable Democracy 2014


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