David Cameron is close to joining TV election debates, according to Grant Shapps

The four major broadcasters have confirmed plans for a 7-7-2 debate format

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David Cameron is inching towards taking part in proposed live television debates in the run-up to the general election, the Conservative Party chairman, Grant Shapps, has indicated.

Mr Shapps said final negotiations needed to take place with the television companies, but added “we are edging towards a solution on this”.

His comments come after the four major broadcasters confirmed plans for a 7-7-2 format, under which two debates hosted by BBC and ITV would feature the leaders of the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Ukip, the Greens, the SNP and Plaid Cymru.

A third debate on Channel 4 and Sky would pit David Cameron against Ed Miliband in a clash of the two men most likely to emerge as prime minister.


The broadcasters said that if any of the leaders decide not to participate, “the debates would take place with those who accepted the invitation”.

Asked if Mr Cameron would now take part in the debates, Mr Shapps told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Pienaar’s Politics: “Yeah, I think that’s right. The final negotiation needs to take place with the TV companies.”