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'Empty-chair' Cameron, TV urged Labour's by Ed Miliband

By Andrew Woodcock

Broadcasters should "empty-chair" David Cameron if he refuses to join in televised leaders' debates ahead of the May 7 general election, Ed Miliband has said.

Labour and Ukip have accused the Prime Minister of "running scared" of televised debates after he ruled out taking part if Green Party leader Natalie Bennett is left out.

Mr Cameron has insisted that the format being suggested by broadcasters is not fair because it includes Ukip leader Nigel Farage but excludes the Greens.

Mr Miliband said that the broadcasts should go ahead whether or not the Conservative leader is there.

"If an empty chair represents David Cameron in these debates, so be it.

"I think these debates need to happen. They are owned by the British people, not owned by David Cameron or anybody else. I think, frankly, the Prime Minister should stop ducking and weaving, trying to avoid these debates."

Under plans put forward by the major broadcasters in October, the Prime Minister would take on Mr Miliband alone in one debate, with another featuring the three mainstream party leaders and a third also including Mr Farage.

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