Cameron: I'm ready to take on Nigel Farage
PM is prepared to face Ukip leader in 2015 TV debate
David Cameron is willing to go head to head with Nigel Farage in a television debate ahead of the 2015 general election, says the Sunday Times.
The prime minister is said to favour a format, suggested by his aides, under which he would hold a one-to-one debate with Ed Miliband, a second debate with Miliband and Nick Clegg, and a third with Farage and the Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett.
Of the proposal to include Bennett, Cameron has told friends: “If you have Farage it makes no sense not to have the Greens as well. They have an MP.” One of the debates would be held during the campaign proper, with the other two staged beforehand.
The news comes as Labour continues to press the Tories to finalise details of the events. Ed Miliband is expected to raise the issue once again during a BBC interview with Andrew Marr today.
Downing Street does not want to discuss the format of any debates until after the party conference season in October. But Labour officials say: “The longer the Tories wait, the more it looks like they don’t want debates at all. The time to sort out the details is now, not in the autumn when every party will be in full-on campaign mode.”
David Cameron has previously stated that the 2010 televised leaders’ debates "took all the life out" of the campaign.