Scotland must be part of TV debates

The SNP is seeking guarantees that Scotland will have a place in any UK-wide TV debate between party leaders and spokespeople at the General Election.

Following confirmation that Gordon Brown has agreed in principle to General Election TV debates, the SNP are demanding guarantees from the broadcasters that the party must be included in any UK-wide TV debates.

Commenting, SNP election campaign co-ordinator Stewart Hosie MP said: 

“We have long had election debates in Scotland, and it is high time we had

UK-wide debates for the Westminster elections. But if they are to be at

all relevant, they must reflect the democratic and political reality of

Scotland and the UK.

“The fact is that the General Election in Scotland is a two-horse race between the SNP and Labour, and so it would be entirely unacceptable, and unfair to the Scottish audience, to exclude the party that forms the Government of Scotland and is now leading in the Westminster polls in Scotland.

“The broadcasters must meet their obligations to audiences across the UK – and that means that any debates broadcast in Scotland must include Alex Salmond, and other relevant spokespeople should there also be subject debates. We shall be approaching the broadcasters to demand such guarantees, given their clear public service obligations to ensure fairness and impartiality in election-related coverage in Scotland.

“It would be entirely unacceptable for the leader of a party not just represented at Westminster but which is also the Government of Scotland to be excluded from any such debates.”

“We are obviously prepared to be flexible about options for the format, but the party of government in Scotland must on principle be included in any such