SNP takes ITV to court over debate exclusion

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Indy Politics
The Scottish Nationalist Party will take ITV to court today for excluding Alex Salmond, the SNP leader, from any televised debate between John Major and Tony Blair.

The SNP said it would seek an interim interdict that would ban the screening in Scotland of a programme excluding the party, and added it had set both the BBC and ITV a deadline of today to respond to its concerns. While the BBC had not yet replied, ITV had sent a flat rejection.

Negotiations continued yesterday between ITV, the BBC and the three main political parties in an effort to agree a format for a televised debate between the party leaders. The broadcasters' negotiations are being led by Marion Bowman, ITV's deputy controller of factual programmes and Tony Hall, chief executive of BBC News.