DUP to challenge TV stations over debate

The DUP is writing to two of the United Kingdom’s main TV stations to ask why the party, whose parliamentary representation dwarfs that of the Greens, UKIP and Plaid Cymru and is greater than that of the SNP, hasn’t been invited to participate in a TV debate prior to the forthcoming general election.

Last week the Sentinel reported how the notion of including the DUP - the fourth largest party at Westminster - or other Irish, Scottish and Welsh parties, apparently hadn’t crossed the Prime Minister David Cameron or TV stations’ minds.

However, on Thursday, following a proposal to include both the SNP and Plaid Cymru, First Minister Peter Robinson indicated he would be writing to the BBC and ITV to ask why.

Announcing the decision on Thursday (January 22) he stated: “I will be writing to BBC and ITV to identify why the DUP is not included in new debate format. More seats than Plaid, SNP and Greens.”

The DUP (8 MPs) has a greater number of seats - including two Londonderry-born MPs, Gregory Campbell and Nigel Dodds - than anyone barring the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

On Friday (January 23) the party tweeted a graphic reminder of this stating: “@itvnews and @BBCPolitics might find this helpful. #TVDebates #StandingUpForNorthernIreland.