Nick says yes to Sky's televised debate

by Stephen Tall on September 2, 2009

As LDV noted this morning Sky News has decided to lay down the gauntlet, and formally invite the major party leaders to particpate in a televised debate during the general election campaign. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has formally accepted his invitation, issuing the following statement on his website:

Many thanks for your letter of yesterday. It is great to hear that Sky News are taking this important initiative and I would be delighted to accept your invitation.

At a time when trust in politics is at an all-time low in the aftermath of the expenses scandal, we must find new and different ways to engage with voters. Any party leader who asks the British people for their vote should have the courage to come in front of a live audience and make their case. Anything else smacks of arrogance.

Thank you once again for writing. I look forward to the debate.”

David Cameron has also agreed to take part. All eyes and ears now are focused on Gordon Brown: will he take the risk, and agree to be the first UK Prime Minister to take part in such a debate; or will he take the bigger risk, and opt out?

Incidentally, I see The Times is speculating that veteran broadcaster Sir David Frost is tipped to get the gig of hosting the debate (if it materialises). A good choice? What do LDV readers think? Who would be your preferred host – perhaps Adam Boulton, the Sky political anchor who started this ball rolling; maybe Jeremy Paxman, or Andrew Neil; or perhaps there is an unwritten part of the constitution which dictates it should be a Dimbleby?