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EU Referendum Brexit ITV

Vote Leave campaign threatens to take ITV to court over EU referendum debate


By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

May 12, 2016 | 3 min read

ITV says that the official 'Vote Leave' campaign has threatened to take legal action against it for scheduling a programme which will see David Cameron and Nigel Farage represent opposing arguments around the EU Referendum.

Nigel Farage EU referendum debate

The group has taken issue with the scheduled live Q&A session, calling ITV's decision to pit the prime minister against the Ukip leader, and not a pro-EU Conservative cabinet minister, "an outrage".

Accusing the broadcaster of "effectively becoming part of the 'In' campaign', a 'Vote Leave' source alleged to the Guardian that ITV had admitted that Farage was selected for the show to secure Cameron's attendance – with the leader believed to be keen on avoiding televised debate with fellow Tory members.

'Vote Leave', selected as the official campaign by the Electoral Commission, is backed up by former London mayor Boris Johnson and culture secretary John Whittingdale. The opposing cross-party 'Britain Stronger in Europe' group is supported by ex-Marks and Spencer chair Lord Rose, and former Trade Union Congress boss Brendan Barber.

Though Farage isn't part of 'Vote Leave', instead backing rival Eurosceptic outfit 'Leave.EU', ITV justified its decision to invite the Ukip leader by referencing the party's third place finish in the 2015 general election, in which it clocked up 3.9 million votes.

Farage's spokesperson said this morning that criticism from 'Vote Leave' around the show was "deeply disappointing."

'Cameron and Farage Live: The EU Referendum' will be moderated by Julie Etchingham, and will see both leaders separately answer questions posed by the audience. The hour-long show will be broadcast on 7 June, just over two weeks ahead of the vote.

It was announced today that Cameron has appointed M&C Saatchi to handle the advertising for Britain Stronger in Europe. The agency has decades of experience in political advertising, and produced the Conservative's billboards during the election last year.

EU Referendum Brexit ITV

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