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Nigel Farage Accepts Alex Salmond's Challenge To An EU TV Debate

"He's absolutely up for it," a UKIP spokesperson told BuzzFeed News after Salmond challenged Farage.

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Nigel Farage has accepted Alex Salmond's challenge to a debate on live TV ahead of the EU referendum after the former first minister laid down the gauntlet to the UKIP leader.

Speaking on Sky News on Sunday morning, Salmond, who is the SNP's foreign affairs spokesperson in Westminster, was asked by news anchor Dermot Murnaghan if he would fight it out with Farage on TV before the referendum which is expected to take place this June.

"Yeah, of course I would and I'd be delighted to take on Mr Farage or any comer on the anti-European side," said Salmond. "I don't know if they've quite decided who they'll be fielding yet, they seem to have spent a lot time fighting with each other, that's the sort of folk they are. But yes, of course, you debate all comers in a referendum campaign."

Murnaghan suggested the debate takes place on his show in the future, to which Salmond replied: "Yeah, let's do that."

A UKIP spokesperson told BuzzFeed News Farage is keen to debate Salmond but would like more voices to be added to the proposed debate on the basis that Salmond is no longer first minister of Scotland.

"Alex is no longer the first minister, he is no longer the leader of the SNP, so it needs to be a bit broader than just [Farage] and Alex," said the spokesperson. "He's absolutely up for it, and he wants a proper debate in Scotland, but he thinks it should be more than just the two of them."

According to reports in The Sun, David Cameron will turn down any request for an EU referendum TV debate from the "sweaty" Nigel Farage but he will take part in a Question Time style show ahead of the vote.

Salmond said: "It's been Mr Cameron who's been tentative and sensitive about debating people in recent history. He wouldn't debate with me in the Scottish referendum campaign and he was very restrictive with the number of debates he did during the general election campaign.

"Maybe that's a wise political strategy but it doesn't do much for engendering discussion."

BuzzFeed, The Telegraph and YouTube have jointly called for and offered to host a full debate about the UK's future role in Europe.

Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.

Contact Jamie Ross at jamie.ross@buzzfeed.com.

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