Sir Ed Davey: Jo Swinson excluded from TV debate for being a woman

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Liberal Democrats’ Sir Ed Davey has said it is “outrageous” that party leader Jo Swinson has not been asked to take part in a television debate ahead of the upcoming general election.

When asked by talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer whether he believed Ms Swinson was excluded because she is a woman, Mr Davey replied: “Yes I do”.

The deputy party leader continued: “Johnson and Corbyn both believe in Brexit so you have a debate, in an election which is about Brexit, between two people who support Brexit – come on that’s not democracy."

He added: “Surely you’d want the party leader of the only seriously remain party in that debate otherwise you’re undermining democracy."

Ms Swinson has threatened legal action against ITV if they do not include her in the planned head-to-head between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn on November 19.

She suggested that there could be an element of sexism in the decision not to include her in the on-screen discussion.

Yesterday she said of her opponents: “If they are refusing to debate me, then it looks like they are sexist or they are scared or possibly both.”

However, ITV has said it was already scheduling a separate live debate to include seven party leaders - including Ms Swinson - alongside the head-to-head between the Prime Minister and Mr Corbyn.

Meanwhile, Sky has since offered to host a debate for the three leaders.

Ms Swinson shared the announcement on Twitter, writing: “I’m in. Will you show up @BorisJohnson & @jeremycorbyn? #DebateHer”.

Asked whether their leaders would take part, a Labour spokesman said the party “will consider all opportunities” while a Conservative spokesman said discussion about the debate are “ongoing”.

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