Petition launched for leaders' TV debates

By Laura Bundock, political correspondent
An online petition supporting the Sky News Leaders' Debate campaign has gone live.
Sky News is pushing for the creation of an Independent Leaders' Debates Commission (LDC) to oversee and organise the debates.It's a move backed by Tories, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, including Vince Cable and Jeremy Corbyn.Under the Sky News proposal, the LDC would set the format and the rules for the debate as well as outline the criteria for political party participation.

[IMG]" alt="Sign up to leaders' debate campaign" class="sdc-article-strapline__image">
Sign up to leaders' debate campaign

It would also steer negotiations between broadcasters and parties and ensure the audiences are objective.Shadow chancellor John McDonnell is the latest senior MP to support the campaign.He said: "I support it. I'll support the petition and I'll sign. It's exactly what we need."No leader should be afraid of debates, it happens in other countries."I don't know why Theresa May ran from it last time, it should definitely happen."
Leaders' TV debates 'here to stay'
Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey is also supporting Sky News' campaign.She told Sky News: "Many of our members would agree that certain outlets would favour one particular party or another, so it's important to make sure these leadership debates are fair and it's a good opportunity for people across Britain to hear about the policies of a particular party without the spin, without the rhetoric."With Labour pressing the government to call a general election, many party members are backing the idea.One member at the Labour Conference said: "I think it's something that should really be sorted. We've had people arguing about it for the last two elections."
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