British opposition leader challenges PM to TV debate

London, Dec 29 (IANS) Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday challenged Prime Minister David Cameron to hold annual televised “state of the nation” debates.

Announcing the plan on his Twitter account, Corbyn said he wants to take “politics to the people”, Xinhua news agency reported.

Corbyn hoped Cameron would sign up to a cross-party initiative to debate the dominant issues of the year and allow party leaders to be questioned by voters, the Labour leader said.

“People are entitled to know more about their political leaders and to have their government held to account by the elected opposition in every way possible,” he said.

“It is crucial that the prime minister and government are held to account, both inside and outside Parliament, throughout their period in office – not just at election time,” added Corbyn.

No political leader should “shrink from the chance to engage more fully with the public,” the Labour Party leader stressed.

Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon and the Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron said they would take part in the debates if Downing Street agreed.

Downing Street also wanted to “look at the formal details” of the proposal before Cameron agreed to participate.

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