I'll take on Clegg – and Cameron and Miliband: Nigel Farage accepts Deputy PM's challenge to live TV debate on EU
Clegg had described Farage as 'the leader of the party of out,' while he is 'the leader of the party of in'
Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, today accepted a challenge from Nick Clegg to a live debate over Britain’s membership of the European Union.
The Liberal Democrat leader had called for the clash to take place ahead of the European Parliamentary elections in May. Several broadcasters are understood to have already expressed their interest in hosting the confrontation.
Mr Farage’s acceptance will put pressure on David Cameron and Ed Miliband to follow suit.
“I have absolutely no choice,” Mr Farage said in his LBC 97.3 radio phone-in programme. “I’ve got to say ‘yes’ because we need to have a national debate on what I think is the most important issue this country has faced.
“The answer is yes, I will do it with Nick Clegg, but the other two, I’d like to see them there as well.”
Mr Clegg had issued the challenge in an appearance on LBC yesterday. He called Mr Farage to “a public, open debate about whether we should be in or out of the European Union”.
The Deputy Prime Minister said: ”That’s the choice facing the British people.
“He is the leader of the party of out, I am the leader of the party of in. It’s time for a proper public debate so that the public can listen to the arguments and decide for themselves.”
Mr Clegg’s move comes a week after he disclosed a high-risk strategy to go head-to-head with the anti-EU party in the European Parliamentary elections in May.
Writing in The Independent last week, the Deputy Prime Minister said he planned to contrast the Lib Dems’ avowedly pro-European stance as “the party of ‘in’” with Ukip’s commitment to quit the EU.
He argued his party had a “unique selling point” on Europe, claiming many Conservatives want to pull out and that Labour is reluctant to attack Ukip.
Tim Farron, the Lib Dem president, yesterday warned the party faces “fight of our lives” not to lose all of its 12 Euro-MPs in May’s elections.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 3 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 4 AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
- 5 Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...