THE SNP have confirmed they have instigated legal action against ITV over their “fundamentally unfair” omission from a televised General Election debate.

The First Minister said she wants the complaint to be heard on Monday, in parallel with that of the LibDems, who are also protesting being left out of next week's debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.

The LibDems launched a similar legal challenge on Tuesday, with party president Sal Brinton saying the decision “disrespects” those who voted Remain in the EU referendum.

However, unlike their leader Jo Swinson’s “self-centred” approach, the SNP are arguing for the inclusion of other parties next week, ahead of what may be “the most important" election of our lifetimes.

“It is quite simply unacceptable for the SNP and other parties to be cut out of proposed leaders’ debates by broadcasters,” said Sturgeon.

“This is fundamentally unfair and it fails to recognise that the UK is no longer a two-party state.

“And in Scotland, this would not be a debate between the two leading parties – instead it would ignore the country’s largest party, which according to the latest polls is also on track to win the third-largest number of seats UK wide.

“By contrast, the latest polls show Labour in fourth place in Scotland.”

Sky News has proposed a November 28 date for its debate, while the BBC has confirmed it will host two debates, on November 29 and December 6, in addition to a series of Question Time specials.

Sturgeon will appear on a seven-way debate on the BBC on November 29, as well as a two-hour-long special of Question Time.

However, she will not be appearing on the BBC’s leaders’ debate between the Prime Minister and Corbyn, a decision which “short-changes” Scottish voters, according to the First Minister.

ITV said it would hold a live interview show on November 19 in addition to its leaders’ debate, which would give the floor to other political parties.

It also said it would hold another “multi-party” debate closer to the vote on December 12.

But the First Minister said that a debate closer to the poll date will be when many voters will have already cast their postal ballots. This, according to Sturgeon, gives Labour and the Tories and unfair advantage.

“The SNP is the third party in terms of Commons representation in the last Parliament, we are the governing party of Scotland and we are one of the biggest political parties in the whole of the UK in terms of membership,” she said.

“It is also entirely possible that we will hold the balance of power in the House of Commons after this election – making it all the more important that our perspective is heard and indeed scrutinised. To exclude the SNP would be a fundamental breach of broadcasters’ obligations to fully and properly represent and reflect the views of the whole UK.”

Sturgeon said that the SNP would be launching a fundraiser to support the cost of bringing the case forward and securing fair representation.

ITV was contacted for comment but no response was received by the time we went to print.