Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister and LibDem MP, has challenged Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, to a live debate on the UK’s membership of the European Union.
Speaking on his LBC 97.3 ‘Call Clegg’ radio show he called on Nigel Farage to go head-to-head with him saying “Ukip is the party of out, while the Lib Dems are the party of in”.
The debate if the challenge is taken up by the UKIP leader, would take place on the Deputy PM’s radio show.
Although Nigel Farage has yet to respond himself a UKIP spokesman did say:
“Mr Farage would like to thank Mr Clegg for his kind invitation to a debate on the great issue of Britain’s membership of the European Union.
“Perhaps he could also let us know whether he has invited David Cameron and Ed Miliband too in order that the British people can see all their main political leaders argue their positions.
“If this challenge means that Mr Clegg is going to restore his backing for an In/Out referendum, which he gave before the last election but then withdrew afterwards, then it could be a significant moment in British politics.
“Mr Farage will give a full response to this development on LBC tomorrow morning.”
The challenge comes after the LibDem president, Tim Farron, warned that the LibDems could be virtually wiped out and lose many of their 12 MEPs in this year’s European elections as feelings of Eurosceptimism increase.
This does open the prospect of a nice little debate with no partisan audience; unlike some recent TV shows you could mention where the assembled gatherings bore no resemblance to the general public at large.