BBC to screen twelve regional debates

From a press release to
Posted 29 April 2015, 1.53pm edt

The BBC is to broadcast 12 television election debates simultaneously across England.

Each of the BBC's TV regions will produce a debate featuring a panel of candidates discussing election issues in front of an audience made up of voters from the region. The audience will be able to put questions direct to the panel.

The debates will be shown on BBC1 tonight (Wednesday April 29) at 10:50 pm.

Politicians from across the political spectrum are booked to appear in the debates including Sajid Javid from the Conservatives, Tristram Hunt from Labour, Norman Lamb from the Liberal Democrats, Jenny Jones from the Green party, UKIP’s Suzanne Evans, and Respect’s George Galloway.

The BBC's regional news teams have been offering comprehensive coverage throughout the election, holding those seeking power to account and cutting through the promises and pledges to make clear the choice facing voters. The Sunday Politics programme has been live in each region each week during the campaign, discussing the big election stories. Meanwhile BBC Local Radio is hosting more than 160 election debates during the campaign.

David Holdsworth, controller of BBC English Regions, said: “These election debates on BBC1 will give our audience an opportunity to see and hear the policies and priorities of the major parties from a regional perspective. The election campaign has so far been dominated by talk of Scotland and that country’s relationship with the rest of the union. However, in England there are important questions about devolution and other issues that affect the regions. It is vital voters get a chance to question politicians on such matters before deciding who to support.

“The election has been the biggest project the BBC’s English regions have ever embarked upon and I’m proud of our efforts to bring clarity to our audience and create compelling content. Our teams will be working flat out until May 7 and beyond to bring the best coverage of this fascinating and important election to our audience.”

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