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Clegg and Farage in head-to-head debates

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is to go head to head with Ukip's Nigel Farage in two broadcast debates on the European Union in the run-up to the May 22 elections to the European Parliament.

Following negotiations between the parties and broadcasters, a radio debate will take place on LBC on March 26, hosted by Nick Ferrari, and a televised debate on BBC2 on April 2, hosted by David Dimbleby.

The fiercely pro-European Deputy Prime Minister challenged Mr Farage to a debate a fortnight ago, and the announcement of the date came as Mr Clegg used a speech in London to ramp up his attack on the eurosceptic party's leader.

In a speech to the Centre for European Reform think-tank, Mr Clegg accused Ukip of having "let down" British interests within the EU.

"You would have thought that if your world view was based on the idea that it has been bad for Britain for us to be part of the EU, a party such as the UK Independence Party would have used its berth in the European Parliament to find every possible opportunity to promote reforms that create British jobs, enhance British security and that enhance the British way of life in the European Union," he said.

"Yet the record shows Ukip leaders don't turn up to vote most of the time."

Mr Farage said: "Nick Clegg has some cheek raising attendance and voting records... between 2010 and 2014 he has voted in Westminster only 22.6% of the time."

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