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Cameron 'up for online debate'

David Cameron has said that he is ready to take part in an online debate with the other party leaders before the general election campaign gets under way at the end of the month.

The Prime Minister has ruled out taking part in the three debates planned by the TV broadcasters for the campaign - including a final head-to-head confrontation with Labour leader Ed Miliband.

But in an online interview with BuzzFeed, he indicated that he would be prepared to take part in a "multi-party" debate next week hosted by the website if they could get the other party leaders to agree to appear.

He suggested that he was also sympathetic to a proposal put forward by the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian and Google - which owns the YouTube website - for an online debate involving the six main UK party leaders.

"I'm up for a debate, I'm up for a multi-party debate, whether it is you, whether it is another digital debate, whether it is the TV broadcasters, that matters less to me than having a multi-party debate before the campaign gets under way," he said.

"Everyone's got to agree to it but I've said very clearly - multi-party debate before the campaign, where do I sign?"

A Liberal Democrat spokesman said: "Lib Dems are certainly interested by the concept of a digital debate but this is no substitute for the format of debates which have widely become an expected part of the British election.

"The public deserves to hear the Prime Minister defend his record in government and his future Conservative offer which involves massive cuts to public services.

"As a party committed to the idea of giving the public an honest and frank televised debate on the issues which matter to the British people, we will not allow David Cameron to dictate the terms of this important issue."

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