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Sunday, 1 February 2015

SNP call for a General Election debate in Scotland

The SNP is today calling on broadcasters to hold one of the seven-way televised General Election leaders’ debates in Scotland. Following on from the news that the SNP, along with the Greens and Plaid Cymru will now be invited to take part in the seven-way debates. 

Today’s Scotland on Sunday reports that broadcasters are said to be keen not to hold all of the debates in London. In 2010 none of the leaders debates were held in London, ITV's in Manchester, Skynews in Bristol and the BBC in Birmingham. SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell today said that holding a debate in Scotland would enable broadcasters to better reflect political diversity across the UK.

Mr Maxwell, who is Convener of Holyrood's Education and Culture Committee, said: "It is good that in their new debates proposals, the BBC and ITV have recognised the real choice that voters will have at the General Election - not an outdated binary choice, when neither Labour nor the Tories are capable of winning a parliamentary majority anymore."

Continuing Mr Maxwell said:  "The SNP are taking nothing for granted, but we believe that the election campaign in Scotland, and hopefully the outcome, will be significant on a UK-wide basis - therefore it would be appropriate for the broadcasters to consider holding one of the seven-way debates in Scotland. The network broadcast media are rightly doing more than at the last election to reflect political diversity across the UK, and so the debates themselves should not all take place in London. I hope that BBC and ITV are able to respond positively to the idea of basing one of their debates in Scotland."