Leaders’ Debates – what about Border asks MSP

Leaders' DebatesSNP MSP for the South of Scotland, Michael Russell, has  written to the Regional Director of ITV Tyne-Tees & Border, Graeme Thompson, following the revelation that ITV had not made arrangements to broadcast the Scottish Leaders’ election debate in the Border TV region.

“It is clearly unacceptable that Alex Salmond is excluded from the national Leaders’ Debates and no good reason has yet been advanced as to why he should not share a stage with Brown, Clegg and Cameron.

“What is even more unacceptable however, is that ITV appears not to have considered whether they would show the Scottish Leaders’ debate in the former Border TV region. Not only that, it is only now that the SNP and Plaid Cymru have met with TV bosses that this omission has been discovered.

“As far as I am concerned, failure to broadcast the Scottish Leaders’ Debate in the South of Scotland would be to exclude representation of the governing party in Scotland and ITV needs to take steps to ensure that does not happen.

“The only acceptable solution has to be for ITV to broadcast the Scottish Leaders’ Debate at the same date and time as it is broadcast on STV and I am looking for assurances from ITV that this will happen.

“This omission also raises real concerns over the problems that ITV Tyne-Tees may encounter in covering the election in Scotland and I also therefore want assurances from ITV that they will make suitable arrangements to ensure that viewers in the former Border TV area get full coverage of the election in Scotland.”