Cameron coy about TV debates
Another question put to David Cameron at the Press Gallery lunch in the Commons was whether he is prepared to have a rerun of the television debates that were the highlights of the 2010 election campaign. His reply suggested that he is not going to, if he can find a face-saving way out.
He complained that the debates “sucked the life out of the campaign” – which is true to the extent that nothing else that happened during that election caught the public’s attention, with the glaring exception of the fiasco in Rochdale when Gordon Brown described a voter as “bigoted.” How much life that campaign would have had without the debates is a matter of debate.
In his circumlocutory reply, Cameron twice mentioned the introduction of a fixed term Parliament, meaning that we already know the date of the next general election. He did not say why this was relevant, but it suggests that he is toying with the possibility of holding television debates before the campaign begins rather than during it.
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