The news that David Cameron would only agree to one of the three planned televised debates sent shockwaves through the political world. It was the second time he refused to take part in the debates because he didn't like the format and was seen as yet another attempt to derail the important TV debates. One major question hung over the heads of the media though, what would happen to the debate hosted by Sky and Channel 4? That debate was due to be a one on one between Mr Cameron and the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband on the 30th of April 2015, but with Cameron claiming he will only take part in one seven-way debate, that left Sky and Channel Four with nothing but empty plans on their hands.
Countless calls were made via the Sky telephone number free requesting that Sky keep to their plans and host the debate whether Mr Cameron arrives or not. That would show a defiant stance and prove that the broadcasters were not willing to be bullied by Mr Cameron into constantly changing their plans. Mr Miliband has been on both TV and Radio to publicly call out Mr Cameron for 'running scared' from the debates and also went on Twitter to say “I will be there on April 30th, will he be there, yes or no?".
Today, we have news that Channel Four and Sky are still preparing their debate, and that their plans will go ahead unchanged. In a statement released by both companies, they said "We are continuing to prepare for a head-to-head debate between the prime minister and the leader of the opposition on 30 April”. They do, however, go on to state that they would be willing to host the debate on a more agreeable date for the Prime Minister, stating “However, in response to media inquiries following today’s PMQs, we would obviously be willing to host a debate on a different day the two main party leaders could agree on.”
The other two debates, featuring leaders from the Conservative Party, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru are to be hosted by the BBC and ITV, but with Mr Cameron only appearing in one, everything remains up in the air. Reaction, understandably, has been furious from all sides, including on the Sky customer services number free. The original plans for the debate, which were to be a one on one with Miliband; a three-way between Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservatives plus a four-way with the three main leaders and Nigel Farage, were refused outright by Cameron who suggested the Greens should be involved if UKIP were to be. As such, this second refusal is being seen as petty and cowardly from the Prime Minister, who privately believes that he doesn't need to do the debates because he sees himself on a course for another term in Downing Street.
Cameron has yet to respond to Sky and Channel 4's strong position, but we don't suspect he'll back down from his position, using the voice of Downing Street to suggest its the broadcasters fault instead.
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