Nicola Sturgeon has condemned a decision to so far exclude the SNP from a live televised election debate on Sky News.

Jo Swinson, the leader of the Lib Dems has accepted an invite to the discussion with the other two main UK-wide party leaders, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.

The head of the Liberal Democrats said "I'm in" and asked if the Conservatives' Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn for Labour would "show up".


READ MORE: Liberal Democrats lodge election debate complaint with ITV after exclusion of leader Jo Swinson

Sky News has proposed the event take place on Thursday November 28 - two weeks before voters head to the polls on Thursday 12 December.

HeraldScotland: Jo Swinson

But the First Minister criticised the move on social media saying: "Simply outrageous and unacceptable to exclude the SNP - the third largest party in UK. 

"What are the other parties so scared of that they won’t agree to real debate? And why are broadcasters letting down voters, especially in Scotland?"

Sky News originally suggested a debate between the leaders of the current government and the opposition.

But it was decided that as there were now multiple proposals for double-headed debates, it was to form an alternative approach.

Sky News promised to continue to provide appropriate coverage to other parties in broadcasts throughout the election period.

In February, Sky News began campaigning for an independent commission to organise the running of televised debates between the UK's main party leaders at future general elections. 

READ MORE: Jo Swinson threatens legal action to ensure she takes part in TV leaders' debates

The Leaders' Debate Commission would set the criteria for party participation, the objectivity of the audience, the debate formats and dates, plus the rules and the moderators.

The Lib Dems have made a formal complaint after ITV said its head-to-head election debate would only include Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.

Party president Sal Brinton said leader Jo Swinson should appear alongside the Tory prime minister and the Labour leader in the 19 November debate.

Pete Wishart, the SNP's shadow leader of the House of Commons said: “This election is one of the most important in Scotland’s history. For any televised debate to completely ignore the third party in the current House of Commons is disgraceful.

“This utterly unacceptable proposal from Sky News would see the Liberal Democrats front and centre but would silence the SNP, despite us having more members than the Lib Dems.

“People in Scotland are fed up of being ignored – by politicians in Westminster running scared of debate and by broadcasters who fail to recognise their obligations.

“At this election, voting SNP is Scotland’s way of booting out Boris Johnson, escaping Brexit and protecting Scotland’s right to choose its own future. 

“Broadcasters are dangerously close to letting Scotland down at the upcoming election – Sky must urgently rethink this utterly ridiculous, half-baked proposal.”