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.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Rotten egg smell could help battle heart disease and Alzheimer's
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...