British PM agrees to TV debates before election

3rd October 2009, Comments 0 comments

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Saturday he would take part in television debates with opposition leaders in the run-up to the next general election next year.

London - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Saturday he would take part in television debates with opposition leaders in the run-up to the next general election next year.

In a letter posted on the website of his ruling Labour Party, Brown said he would "relish the opportunity of making our case directly to the people of this country".

Opinion polls suggest Labour is likely to lose the election, which must be held by June 2010, to the main opposition Conservatives led by David Cameron.

Brown had faced growing pressure from the media to take part in a debate with Cameron and Nick Clegg, leader of the second opposition Liberal Democrats, who have both agreed to join in.

On Friday, Britain's three main television news channels -- the BBC, ITV and Sky News -- proposed three live debates featuring the trio during the election campaign.

If they go ahead, the debates would be the first of their kind in Britain.

"I believe it is right that the parties debate the issues not just in parliament but in every arena where the public will join in the discussion," Brown said in his letter.

"What's important for the country is that there is a wide ranging series of television and radio debates with party leaders that are also able to devote attention to the central issues".

The Conservatives' annual conference starts in Manchester, northwest England, Monday. Labour held theirs this week.

AFP/Expatica

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