Last year Ken Clarke told this blog that he wanted a TV debate with Mandy but that the Business Secretary wouldn’t do it.
“I’m making it clear that I would want to appear on television with [Lord Mandelson],” said Clarke.
“I’ve made that clear to the television companies – my guess is that those companies would love to put us together for a debate.
“But he won’t go on TV.”
In the past Mandelson has shrugged off suggestions of a live debate. But today Lobbydog asked him straight whether he was up for it or not.
“There is absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t be,” he said.
I guess he had little choice but to say yes, but interestingly he then turned round and claimed it was Clarke that had chickened out in the past – all in typical Mandy style.
“We were going to do it originally for Channel Four and he said he had to go to a meeting of the shadow cabinet.
“Who on earth would rather go to a meeting of the shadow cabinet than appear on a Channel Four debate with me.
“What’s the shadow cabinet got that I haven’t got, it’s dull and boring.”
Clarke has just totally denied that he ever refused or pulled out of any debate and adds that he too is ready and willing.
So Clarke wants it, Mandy wants it, TV producers want it and we want it – what’s the hold up?