Where's David Cameron in Thursday's BBC election debate?

David Cameron and Nick Clegg weren't involved in Thursday night's "challengers" debate.

The BBC hosted a live TV election Thursday night - but neither David Cameron nor Nick Clegg were anywhere in sight.

Ed Miliband, Nigel Farage and Nicola Sturgeon all criticised the Tory leader's absence from Thursday night's five-way showdown. The SNP leader said it was a "disgrace" that Cameron wasn't there to defend his record.

But David Cameron chose not to be involved in Thursday night's debate - refusing to take part in any more than one such event, and refusing outright to debate Ed Miliband head-to-head.

After months of negotiation, broadcasters proposed three election debates during the election campaign.

The Prime Minister agreed to just one - which he insisted must include the leaders of seven political parties.

Speaking directly to the camera, Miliband sent a provocative message directly to the Tory leader.

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"David," he said. "If you think this election is about leadership then debate me one on one.

"I believe my ideas, my vision for the country is better for the working families of the country

"If you disagree, then prove it. Debate me and let the people decide."

Tonight's debate was reformatted as a "challengers" debate - featuring the leaders of Labour, Ukip, the Green Party, Plaid Cymru and the SNP.

As deputy prime minister, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg was not invited to the challengers debate. He chose to spend the night in the pub in Sheffield.

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David CameronNick CleggBBC Challenger's debateBBC election debate