Election 2015

Election 2015: Farage to face BBC audience questions

Composite image showing Nicola Sturgeon, Nigel Farage and Leanne Wood Image copyright Ian Gavan

UKIP's Nigel Farage will be among leaders to face audience questions in BBC regional election specials.

A programme featuring Mr Farage will be broadcast in England on 30 April, on the same evening as versions with the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon and Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood in Scotland and Wales.

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg will also separately appear for 30 minutes in a Question Time special.

UKIP has been added to the arrangements in place before the 2010 election.

A party spokesman said: "Nigel Farage is delighted to accept the BBC's invitation to once again engage with the public."

During a BBC opposition leaders' election debate on Thursday, Mr Farage had accused the corporation of failing to select a balanced audience. Those present had been selected by an independent polling organisation.

And sources within the BBC said the arrangement for regional programmes was agreed well ahead of Thursday's debate programme.

Regional audiences

The Question Time Election Leaders Special, hosted by David Dimbleby and featuring one-by-one appearances by Conservative leader Mr Cameron, Labour's Mr Miliband and Lib Dem Mr Clegg will go out live on BBC One and the BBC News Channel from 20:00 to 21:30 BST, one week before polling.

Each of the leaders will separately face 30 minutes of questions posed by a studio audience in Leeds.

Later the same evening there will be three special programmes broadcast on BBC One in different parts of the UK, in which Ms Sturgeon, Ms Wood and Mr Farage will each answer voters' questions for half an hour.

On BBC One in Scotland, at 21:30 BST, Glenn Campbell will chair Election 2015: Ask Nicola Sturgeon, in which the SNP leader will take questions from an audience in Glasgow.

On BBC One in Wales, after the News at Ten, an audience in Cardiff will put questions to the Plaid Cymru leader, at the same time as Mr Farage appears on an English version filmed in Birmingham.

That programme will also be shown later in the evening on BBC One in Wales.

In Northern Ireland, there was a leaders debate on 16 April as part of the BBC Newsnight programme, with Nigel Dodds of the DUP, Sinn Fein's Mairtin O Muilleoir, Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt, the SDLP's Mark Durkan, and Alliance leader David Ford.

There will be another local leader debate screened on BBC One Northern Ireland on Tuesday 5 May.

All regional debates will be available on the BBC iPlayer to viewers across the UK.