Leave campaign's furious threat to ITV after it turns to Nigel Farage
‘ITV has effectively joined the official In campaign and there will be consequences for its future’
Vote Leave was left fuming last night after it was announced David Cameron and Ukip leader Nigel Farage will take part in a live ITV event on ITV ahead of June's referendum.
The pair will take turns to answer questions from an audience of about 200 people at the 7 June event but will not go head to head, the broadcaster announced.
But the official Brexit campaign group accused ITV of a “stitch up” for selecting Farage who supports rival eurosceptic group, Leave.EU.
A senior source in Vote Leave accused the channel of allowing Downing Street to select the Prime Minister's opponent.
“ITV is led by people like Robert Peston who campaigned for Britain to join the euro,” the source said.
“ITV has lied to us in private while secretly stitching up a deal with Cameron to stop Boris Johnson or Michael Gove debating the issues properly."
The source added: “ITV has effectively joined the official In campaign and there will be consequences for its future — the people in No 10 won’t be there for long.”
Vote Leave has reportedly vowed to take ITV to court over the issue. But Peston, the broadcaster's political editor, hit back at the criticism.
Cameron will also take part in a live Sky News event on 2 June, which will feature questions from the audience and a one-to-one interview.
Vote Leave's Michael Gove will take place in a similar event the following day. Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph quotes a source claiming the Prime Minister is “unlikely” to appear on screen with any other opponents ahead of the 23 June referendum.
The revelation comes after Vote Leave top dog Boris Johnson told the Spectator magazine he would take Cameron on if asked.