France’s remaining presidential candidates this week had a head-to-head debate on French TV. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton met three times on TV. In the upcoming German elections, Angela Merkel is certain to encounter her opponent on TV. In the UK such a civilised arrangement is impossible because the PM says no. But there is a way of changing our outmoded ways: the arrangements should be taken away from the broadcasters and, as in the US, handed to an independent body such as the Electoral Commission. In this way, the politicians and the public would be assured that a sensible balance would be struck and neither side disadvantaged.
Managing director, BBC Television Network 1988–91
• Marina Hyde has perfectly understood the Tories’ election strategy and their weaknesses (With May the snowflake in charge, this is health and safety gone mad, 29 April), but Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to opt out of TV debates was not driven by cowardice, but by intelligent recognition of Lynton Crosby’s plan. Without May on the panel, the opposition parties will tear each other to pieces instead of fighting the Tories. Corbyn has decided not to fall into that trap.
Shoreham, West Sussex
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