UK Television

Liberal Democrats Complain to ITV over Debate Exclusion


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The Liberal Democrats have lodged a formal complaint to ITV after the network announced a debate between only Labour and the Conservatives.

ITV had announced that it would broadcast a head-to-head debate between Conservative leader and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.

The Liberal Democrats however claim that by excluding their leader, Jo Swinson from the debate, that ITV are “misrepresenting the current political reality”.

Lib Dem president Dame Carolyn McCall said in a letter sent to the broadcaster that “voters of this country deserve to hear from a Remainer on the debate state, not just from the two men who want to deliver Brexit”.



The Lib Dems also go on to point out the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, which states that “due weight must be given to the coverage of parties and independent candidates during the election period.”

Since the announcement by ITV of the head-to-head debate, Liberal Democrat politicians and supporters have taken to Twitter using the hashtag “Debate Her” using the narrative that both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are scared of debating a woman leader.

The argument that ITV are likely to use in their defence is that they plan a “full field” debate later in the campaign, between all of the leaders of the Westminster parties, including the SNP, the UK’s current third largest party in Parliament.

It is also expected that ITV will point to recent opinion polling, which shows that the two leaders that are likely to form the next government are those of the current opposition Labour party and the governing Conservative party.

The Liberal Democrats have positioned themselves as the “party of remain” heading into the general election scheduled for 12th December, and represented the fourth largest grouping of parliamentarians heading into this election cycle.