18/03/2015 12:13 GMT | Updated 19/03/2015 12:59 GMT

Budget 2015: Danny Alexander Fails To Get Ed Balls To Shake His Hand: 'Come On Ed, Shake It'


Live on Sky News this afternoon, Danny Alexander tried to force Ed Balls to agree to a three-way televised chancellors debate. But failed.

The Lib Dem chief secretary to the Treasury was involved in a spirited ding-dong with the shadow chancellor in a joint post-Budget appearance on the channel. Alexander, accusing Balls of being "vague" on Labour's policies, stuck out his hand and asked Balls to shake it and agree to a election debate. "Perhaps you and I could debate this," he said. "A three-way debate, if you and I shake. Come on Ed, shake on it."

However Balls laughed and made sure his hands went no where near Alexander's grasp.

Alexander said: "I don't know why he is willing to sign up to a debate with George Osborne but he is running away from a debate with me."

On Sunday, Balls successfully ambushed Osborne on the Andrew Marr show into shaking his hand on a head-to-head chancellors debate.

Today, Balls told Alexander he was happy to take part in a debate with all the parties Treasury spokespeople, but he wanted a head-to-head with Osborne as well. "I want a debate with the two serious parties, the two parties where the chancellor will come from. I'm not going to let George Osborne off the hook."

alexander balls

Balls told Osborne on Sunday: "George is not a coward. David Cameron doesn't want a head-to-head with Ed Miliband but I'm very happy - I will have a head-to-head debate, just the two of us, the potential chancellors during the election campaign. He added: "You can say now - are you up for it?"

Photo gallery Budget 2015: The Main Points See Gallery


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