Sky and Channel 4 willing to host an earlier debate between Miliband and Cameron at the PM’s behest

Prime minister David Cameron has admitted he would take part in televised debates if they do not occur during the Conservative Party’s re-election campaign.

At Prime Minister’s Questions today (Wednesday 4 March) Cameron said: “I have been very clear, I have said get on with the debates before the election campaign begins, I think we should start now."

The answer came after Labour leader Ed Miliband asked whether the PM will make an appearance, claiming “one thing he wants to avoid is a TV debate between me and him”.

Under plans announced last month, ITV was to host the first party leaders' debate between the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP, SNP, Green Party and Plaid Cymru, on 2 April.

This was to be followed by a second debate, held by the BBC, between the seven parties on 16 April. A third debate hosted by Sky and Channel 4 was to feature only Miliband and Cameron on 30 April.

Following Cameron’s request for the debates to precede his election campaign, which is expected to begin on 30 March, Sky News and Channel 4 issued a joint statement: "Sky News and Channel 4 are continuing to prepare for a head-to-head debate between the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition on 30th April.

"However, in response to media inquiries following today's PMQs, we would obviously be willing to host a debate on a different date the two main party leaders could agree on."

Parties participating in the debate have previously stated that the event will go ahead with or without the presence of the PM.

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