Nicola Sturgeon has issued an election debate challenge to the Conservative and Labour leaders.

Scotland’s First Minister said she would take on Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn “anywhere, anytime”.

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Her comments came after Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson complained to broadcaster ITV about its decision to exclude her from debates, with Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn set to go head-to-head on the channel.

When asked if she would like to be included in the TV debates, the SNP leader said she “absolutely” would.

Ms Sturgeon spoke during a campaign visit to a chemist in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, where she was joined by local candidate Margaret Ferrier.

She said: “My message to Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson is: ‘What are you scared of?’

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“I’ll debate one of them, I’ll debate both of them, anytime, anywhere.

“Bring it on, stop running scared of meaningful debate in this election. The people can see you.”

General Election 2019Ms Sturgeon urged broadcasters to include leaders from different parties in debates, not just the Tories and Labour (Jane Barlow/PA)

The First Minister, who also paid a visit to a nearby cafe with Ms Ferrier, warned broadcasters against “going back in time” by only inviting the leaders of the two largest parties to the debate.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The population, certainly in Scotland, but across the rest of the UK, is moving away from the two-party system.

“You’ve got the broadcasters not only sticking to that but actually going back the way, because in 2010, 2015 and 2017 they had a different approach to that.

“My message to the broadcaster is make sure that you’re reflecting politics as it is and not just how you want it to be.”