Prime Minister David Cameron is reported to have given the most clear sign yet that he is willing to debate UKIP leader Nigel Farage on the run-up to Britain’s General Election in May 2015.
The Sunday Times reports (£) that Mr. Cameron and his aides have come up with a strategy to include Farage in one of three debates next year – a stark admission that UKIP is now a national force to be taken seriously, and not just “fruitcakes and loonies” as Cameron is famously quoted as saying previously.
With UKIP polling in the high 30s nationally for the European elections, Cameron’s aides are drawing up plans to include Mr. Farage in the debate series. They are said to favour a 5-3-2 debate format, with five participants in the first debate, three in the second, and two in the last.
Initially, Cameron will square off against Labour leader Ed Miliband, Deputy PM and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, UKIP leader Nigel Farage, and Green Party leader Natalie Bennet. Cameron has told friends that, “If you have Farage it makes no sense not to have the Greens as well. They have an MP.”
A senior UKIP source told Breitbart London: “Finally Cameron has been forced to accept the inevitable, he doesn’t want to but it would have been extraordinary for him to question Farage’s political courage and continue to duck the challenge of debating him. But why not before these elections, why wait a year ? Nigel would meet him tomorrow.”
The second debate would whittle the stage down to including just Mr. Cameron, Mr. Miliband, and Mr. Clegg, while the last debate with feature just the two main party leaders: Cameron vs. Miliband.