Scotland politics

General election 2017: BBC hosts debate with six Scottish leaders

The same six Scottish leaders took part in a BBC debate in the run-up to last year's Scottish Parliament elections
Image caption The same six Scottish leaders took part in a BBC debate in the run-up to last year's Scottish Parliament elections

BBC Scotland's live election debate from Edinburgh will now feature six party leaders.

The BBC had originally announced a 90-minute debate featuring Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson, Kezia Dugdale, Willie Rennie and Patrick Harvie.

However, following confirmation of the number of candidates standing in the election, UKIP Scottish leader David Coburn will now join them.

The debate will take place at 19:30 on Sunday 21 May.

It will be the first Scottish leaders' debate of the General Election campaign and will be presented by Sarah Smith and Jackie Bird.

A BBC spokesman said UKIP's decision to field 10 parliamentary candidates qualified them for a Party Election Broadcast.

He said that, along with previous electoral support and an MEP, meant BBC Scotland would now invite the party leader to join the debate.

The Scottish Greens confirmed this week they would stand only three candidates in the general election.

The same six Scottish leaders took part in a BBC debate in the run-up to last year's Scottish Parliament elections.

The BBC election guidelines for 2017, which are published online, state that appropriate level of party coverage takes into account several factors including past and current electoral support, number of candidates and a role in wider Scottish politics.

STV has announced it will host a leaders debate with four Scottish leaders on 24 May.

BBC Scotland said it would also run a series of special "Ask the Leader" programmes, with the leaders of the SNP, Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Labour and the Scottish Liberal Democrats, on BBC One Scotland in the week before the election on 8 June.

Audiences will be invited to ask questions of each of the party leaders in the programmes hosted by political correspondent Glenn Campbell.

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