10 times David Cameron praised TV debates

8th January, 2015 6:34 pm

Today David Cameron has suggested that he won’t take part in the televised debates in the run up to the election, with sources close to the Prime Minister suggesting that he wouldn’t be unduly concerned if there were no debates at all. However in the past, Cameron has praised the debates and been critical of those who have pulled out in the past.


To show how supportive the Tory leader has been of the TV debates before appearing to back out today, here are 10 times David Cameron has praised TV debates:

1. “I absolutely believe in these debates and think they are great.” – David Cameron and Jeremy Thompson, Sky news, 14 April 2010

2. “I think it is great we are having these debates and I hope they go someway to restore some of the faith and some of the trust into our politics because we badly need that once again in this country.” – David Cameron, Leaders Debate, ITV, 15 April 2010

3. “Look, I’ve been calling for these debates for five years, I challenged Blair, I challenged Brown, I challenged when I was ahead in the polls, and when I was behind in the polls. I just think they are a good thing.” – David Cameron, Daily Telegraph, 17 April 2010

4. “I’ve always wanted these debates to happen. I mean they happen in every country. They even happen in Mongolia for heaven’s sake and it’s part of the modern age that we should be in.” – David Cameron, BBC3, 21 April 2010

5. “I think these debates are here to stay. They clearly engage people in politics which is what we need.” – David Cameron, News of the World, 2 May 2010

6. “If you want the TV debates to go ahead you have got to do it fairly between the main parties and look, having said I want them, having challenged people to have them and quite right, Sky saying let’s have them, it would have been feeble to find some excuse to back out so I thought we’ve got to stick at this, we’ve got to do it.  It will be challenging, it was, but I think I came through them.” – David Cameron, Sky News, 3 May 2010

7. “You know we’ve been going on for years about let’s have these debates and I think it really vindicated having that.  I think people will be asking themselves why on earth, what was all the fuss about? Why on earth didn’t we have these things before?  We should have done and it’s great they’re underway now and I think we’ll have them in every election in the future and I think that’s a really good thing for our democracy.” – David Cameron, BBC Radio Manchester, 16 April 2014

8. “On TV debates, I’m in favour of them, I think they’re good and we should go on having them and I will certainly play my part in trying to make that happen.” – David Cameron, Coalition mid term review, 7th Jan 2012

9. “I think TV debates are good. I enjoyed them last time – particularly the last one.” – David Cameron, David Cameron, Press Association, 10th December 2012

10. (And finally – here’s a time when he criticised candidates for pulling out of the debates) – “Blair pulled out against, against Major and Major pulled out against Kinnock, Thatcher pulled out against Callaghan. I’ve just always believed that these need to happen. It’s good for democracy.  It’s good to see.” – David Cameron and Allan Beswick, BBC Radio Manchester, 16 April 2014

What changed your mind Prime Minister…?

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  • Markham Weavill

    It’s not Cameron who should hang his head in shame but Miliband, Clegg and Farage for not backing the Greens right to participate. The Greens have an MP and a significant number of voters put a cross against their candidates names in elections.

    Ofcom and the TV companies are wrong

    • CoolJHS

      Stop talking nonsense, it was the broadcasters who excluded the Greens.

      • Markham Weavill

        But the political parties didn’t complain. They talk the talk about getting the electorate involved but given the opportunity they ignore them in search of short term political expediency. Then they wonder why so many of the electorate hold them in contempt and don’t believe a word they say.

    • Julia

      The SNP have SIX MP’s and they have the third largest political party membership in the UK.
      However it wouldn’t suit Labour to have them on the debate programmes.
      It would be difficult to sell the “English” version of Labour to a Scottish audience who think the party is still socialist.

  • Ian

    The whole basis of this article is incorrect and sloppy writing. Cameron has said he won’t take part if the Greens are not invited. By doing this isn’t he standing up for democracy and, indeed, wouldn’t it be ridiculous if the LDs were invited but not the Greens who have outpolled them at most recent by elections?

    Why hasn’t Ed been calling for the inclusion of the Greens and why hasn’t he instantly agreed to it? Sometimes you have to do the right thing.

    • CoolJHS

      Don’t be so naive, the Tories are busy working behind the scenes to prevent the Greens from getting involved.

      • Ian

        Isn’t that all the more reason for Ed to be on the news tonight calling for their inclusion?

        • Doug Smith

          Ed is running scared. As is Cameron.

          • Ian

            I have to admit it does rather look that way.

    • Frankie D.

      He’s doing to either split the left wing vote, in which case he wins, or to be able to pull out of the debates, in which case he wins…

      • Ian

        Are we really that scared of the Greens that we are going to let him?

    • mouthOfTheUmber

      the Labour Party did call for the inclusion of the Green Party before the TV companies said they would be included.
      “call me Dave” is trying to manipulate the free press by determining both the make-up and timing of the Leaders’ Debates 🙁

  • Sunny Jim

    We’ve dodged a bullet AND managed to land blows today -result!

    • Graeme Hancocks

      Comment makes no sense, sorry.

      • Ian

        Glad and relieved I’m not the only one to think that!

  • Tom Sanders

    Oh now look what’s happened… the Sturge has piped up saying me too.

    Cam is only saying yes but only with the Greens. What’s wrong with that? Apart from anything else we’d get to see how barking they are.

  • RWP

    Cameron also said ages ago that he wanted the Greens involved if UKIP were in there too – selective memory from LL?

  • MikeHomfray

    I don’t like the debates, and I’d rather they didn’t happen

  • Graeme Hancocks

    Cameron is using the Green issue as a shield for not wanting the debates to happen at all. He has been pretty clear that he would be happy for there to be none and Ofcom ruling the Greens out of the debates has given him -somewhat flimsy – cover to back out. This from the man who called environmental issues “green crap”. PR man through and through, surprised that some people still so naive taken in by this posturing.

  • Michael Murray

    Only parties that are fielding a candidate in all or most constituencies of the UK should be involved in the debates nationally. The rest should be offered regional debates. This excellent post shows just how disingenuous Loser Dave is and how he is terrified of debating with Ed, who will trounce him, and with the Leader of the Lib Dem stooges, who will probably complain that the Coalition would have been a roaring success if only they had followed the stooges’ policies.

  • Bill Edmunds

    David Cameron has become Brave Sir Robin out of Monty Python and The Holy Grail. Brave Sir Robin has run away, again.

  • mouthOfTheUmber

    is it true “call me Dave” has a streak of yellow down his back a mile wide?
    vote Dave, get YELLOW ! ! !


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