Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

SNP hits out at ‘undemocratic’ exclusion from proposed Sky News debate

The SNP wants to be included in the Sky News debate (Jane Barlow/PA)
The SNP wants to be included in the Sky News debate (Jane Barlow/PA)

The SNP has complained to Sky News and Ofcom about the “deeply undemocratic” decision to exclude the party from a General Election TV debate.

Sky News proposed a live debate between Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson, shortly after Ms Swinson said the Liberal Democrats would launch legal action against ITV if it did not include her in its proposed head-to-head debate between the Tory and Labour leaders.

The SNP said it has written to the head of Sky News calling for the party to be fully included in any debate, and making clear it could test the matter in the courts if it is not swiftly resolved.

SNP business convener Kirsten Oswald said: “The disgraceful decision to exclude the SNP from the Sky News debate is deeply undemocratic and completely inexcusable.

“This is another example of the Westminster establishment closing in on itself and showing no regard for Scotland.

“The SNP is the third party in the UK Parliament, the governing party in Scotland, and as past election results and current polling shows, the party most likely to retain this position and hold the balance of power after the election – there is no excuse for shutting us out and silencing Scotland.

“This election will be one of the most important in Scotland’s history. The result could determine the UK’s relationship with the EU and the course of Scotland’s relationship with the UK – making it all the more crucial that the SNP are fully included in the debates.”

Ms Oswald said polls show the “overwhelming majority” of voters in Scotland and across the UK agree that the SNP should be included in the debates.

“It’s time Sky News and other broadcasters stop short-changing voters and do their job by recognising the multi-nation, multi-party nature of UK politics,” she said.

Meanwhile, a Plaid Cymru spokesman said the Sky debate, proposed for Thursday November 28, is one “harping back to a politics that no longer exists”, adding: “Every vote in Parliament is likely to count. Shutting out the third biggest party – the SNP – is lunacy, but in the last three years, Plaid Cymru’s votes have been an equally crucial factor on key issues in Parliament.

“To exclude us shows a lack of commitment to properly representing the parties which will decide the future of the UK.

“We backed Sky News’s campaign for fair and representative TV debates, now we have the chance to have one, they look set to deliver the complete opposite.”

On Monday, Ms Swinson said her party is taking legal advice and will “pursue legal avenues” if ITV does not change its format to include her.

When asked during her campaign launch on Tuesday what her message to Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn would be regarding TV debates, Ms Swinson said: “My message is I hope to see you there, or if not: what are you afraid of?”

General election 2019 opinion polls
(PA Graphics)

She added: “I think it is ridiculous to suggest that the country is well served by a debate between two men who want to leave the European Union.”

Ms Swinson said she “cannot wait” to take on the two leaders, and on the issue of being left out of the ITV debate, she said sexism “has to at least be one of the possible explanations”.

Already a subscriber? Sign in