General election debates: Greens in uproar over exclusion from Scottish leaders’ debate

STV is hosting a four-way debate on Monday

Ross Greer raising a fist at his oath in the Scottish Parliament

Leaders’ debates are now a key feature of General Election campaigns in the UK. So far, only one UK-wide debate has been announced. Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer will go head to head on ITV at 9pm on Tuesday, 4 June.

The day before, there will also be a debate between Scottish Party leaders on STV at 9pm. SNP leader John Swinney, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton will be taking part.

Notable in their absence from the Scottish debate are the Greens. While the Scottish Greens don’t currently have any seats in the House of Commons, they do have 7 MSPs – more than the Liberal Democrats – and they were until recently in government in Scotland.

The decision not to invite the Greens has led to outrage from key party activists and representatives.

Ross Greer MSP tweeted: “Scotland has 5 major parties. STV are excluding the [Scottish Greens] from their debate despite: All four of these men being MSPs rather than MPs/ candidates, just like our leaders, the 3:1 anti-indy panel despite half of [Scotland] being pro indy, it’s a manel without [Lorna Slater].”

Meanwhile, Ellie Gomersall – the campaign manager for the Glasgow Greens – said: “This is a disgrace. Four men. No Greens, despite having elected 8 MSPs in 2021 and having recently been a literal party of government. The anti-Green media bias on full display – as well as the male dominated nature of Scottish politics.”

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

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