Televised Election Debates — [Mr Virendra Sharma in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:03 pm on 7th January 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough 5:03 pm, 7th January 2019

I will come to that specific point, because it is a very good example.

I am very grateful to Sky News, because it has done something really useful: it has got the wider public thinking about these debates. We cannot arrange them two or three months before a general election; we have to have an independent commission, because the problem is that the party with the advantage does not want to have a TV debate. The only time we get a debate is, for example, if the Prime Minister thinks that the Government are behind and the Leader of the Opposition wants publicity. That is exactly what happened with Gordon Brown. I would suggest that he thought it right to have a debate because he was behind.

I thought that the debate between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg was very good. When we go out campaigning during a general election, we have a campaign session in the morning and in the afternoon, and between 5 pm and 7 pm in the evening. I remember getting back one evening after campaigning, going to the gym, putting on a headset and listening to the debates. The only thing that I remember really is the phrase, “I agree with Nick”, but the debates were very useful in helping electors to make up their minds on how to vote.