LABOUR are demanding that the SNP and other smaller parties are cut from televised leadership debates during the General Election campaign, according to reports.

Broadcasters are reportedly focusing on two head-to-head contests between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer before July 4.

This includes ITV, in line with the format demanded by Labour, sources at the company told The Guardian. 

READ MORE: Labour record 'largest lead over SNP since 2014' in new poll

A head-to-head debate could benefit Labour given smaller leftwing parties are more likely to attack Starmer on his party's stance on green issues and Gaza.

Plaid Cymru's Liz Saville Roberts said the election was "not a two-horse race" and has written to both Labour and the Tories challenging them to a debate in Wales against her party leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth.

She wrote: "Broadcasters have a duty to give an accurate reflection of the choices at the ballot box in all countries across Britain. But as your parties call the shots when it comes to broadcasters’ decisions for debates in this election, you must show leadership."

The Liberal Democrats and the SNP previously failed to convince the high court in London that their then party leaders Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon should have been included in ITV’s election debate in 2019 – which saw Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn battle it out before polling day. 

The BBC, given its funding model, is more likely to include a debate with multiple parties. But, as in 2019 when this did go ahead, the main two parties could choose to simply not attend. 

Sunak, meanwhile, has accused Starmer of ducking TV debates because he lacked courage and “doesn’t have a plan” for the country.

The National: The Prime Minister asked a group of potential voters if “they were looking forward to all the

The Prime Minister claimed the Labour leader did not want to take part in weekly debates.

Writing for The Telegraph, Sunak said: “There are big issues at stake in this election. Do we continue cutting taxes or raise taxes on working households as Labour would do?

“Do we prioritise energy security and your family’s finances in our approach to net zero or put environmental dogma first as Sir Keir Starmer and Ed Miliband would. And, above all, how do we give this country the secure future it deserves?

“I want to debate these issues with Sir Keir Starmer. But he doesn’t want to because he doesn’t have a plan and doesn’t have the courage to say what he wants to do.”

The SNP have been approached for comment.