Lib Dems considering court action over exclusion from TV debate


The Liberal Democrats have disclosed they are “looking at court action” over Jo Swinson’s exclusion from a BBC election debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.

The broadcaster announced on Friday that it would host a traditional head-to-head debate between the prime minister and Labour leader on 6 December.

Earlier this week, Swinson said her party would take legal action if ITV did not include her in its own leaders’ debate, scheduled for 19 November.

Layla Moran, the Lib Dems’ education spokeswoman and Oxford West and Abingdon candidate, said it was critical the TV debates had a remain voice.

She told Sky News: “We are the biggest, strongest remain party fielding candidates in all parts of the UK and actually we are the only party that can challenge Labour and the Conservatives on this.

“We are in discussions with lawyers about what we are going to do with the ITV debate and we are also looking at court action for the BBC one too.”

Moran added it was “entirely possible” that Swinson could be prime minister.

Under the first-past-the-post voting system, tactical voting is when you vote for a party that you would not normally support in order to stop another party from winning. For example, in a constituency where the result is usually tight between a party you dislike and a party you somewhat dislike, and the party you support usually comes a distant third and has no chance of winning, you might choose to lend your vote to the party you somewhat dislike. This avoids ‘“wasting” your vote on a party that cannot win the seat, and boosting the chances that the party you dislike most will lose.

“I think in this election – and no-one is saying this isn’t a huge mountain to climb, no-one is pretending that it is not – but what we did see is that in the Europeans, different electoral system I get it, but we polled higher than the Conservatives and the Labour party for the first time in 100 years.

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“There is something weird happening in British politics right now – it’s showing itself in the last few months – anything is possible.”

The comments come after reports the Lib Dems would provide working parents with 35 hours of free childcare a week from the day their baby turns nine months old, while Labour said it would provide 30 hours of free childcare a week for every child from the age of two.

Under current rules, three-year-olds are eligible for 15 hours free childcare a week with the majority of working families entitled to up to 30 hours and lower-income parents receive extra help from when their child turns two.



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