Rennie calls for additional TV debate

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today called for an additional TV leaders’ debate ahead of polling day in the Scottish Parliament elections.

Mr Rennie was speaking the morning after the second debate within a week of the start of the campaign. At present, there are no plans for a leaders' TV debate in the month of April.

Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chair Lord Jeremy Purvis is set to write to BBC Scotland and STV, urging them to explore options for an additional televised debate featuring the leaders of Scotland’s larger political parties.

Commenting, Mr Rennie said:

“The debate last night was a fantastic opportunity for people to get into the nitty gritty of the parties offers for this election. The two TV debates have shed more light on the campaign than any number of photo opportunities would manage.

“We have had two debates in the first week of the campaign, a time when it is probably fair to say that many people are yet to realise that the election campaign is underway. Now people will have to wait more than a month for their next chance to hear directly from the party leaders.

“It was gratifying to see some newspapers say that I came out on top last night, but this is not about winners or losers - it is about proper scrutiny of the main parties and their platforms.

“I think that an extra TV debate would go some way towards ensuring that everyone has the chance to see how the leaders react under pressure and what their plans would mean for Scotland. I would encourage BBC Scotland and STV to put their heads together and get another TV debate in the diary.”

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