David Cameron has agreed to the offer made by broadcasters for a single seven-way election debate that will be held on 2 April.
The contest would be a first in British broadcasting history. The Tories originally wanted a single debate in the week staring 23 March. However, the PM came under a barrage of criticism from the media for doing everything possible to avoid debates.
The Labour party has, so far, not made its position clear. A Labour source is quoted as saying:
We’ve accepted the proposal from the broadcasters for three debates. There is no other proposal from the broadcasters.
The Conservatives appear to have wilted under the pressure to debate closer to the election. Earlier this month, Craig Oliver, the PM’s director of communications, sent a letter to the chair of the broadcasters’ leaders’ debates committee Sue Inglish delivering an ultimatum on the date, number and size of the debates.
The letter says:
This is our final offer, and to be clear, given the fact this has been a deeply unsatisfactory process and we are within a month of the short campaign, the Prime Minister will not be participating in more than one debate.