THE Scottish Greens have criticised BBC Scotland after the broadcaster said they couldn’t take part in a live televised election debate.

The programme will only include the SNP, Scottish Tories, Scottish Labour and the LibDems.

Green co-convenor Patrick Harvie, who took part in the equivalent programme in the run-up to the 2017 election, said it would be a debate “where everyone agrees with each other” on the climate emergency.

At that last vote, the BBC said any party standing at least 10 candidates would justify inclusion.

A similar rule now would likely mean the addition of the Greens, who plan on having around 20 candidates, and the Brexit Party, who aim to have 46.

Harvie said: “We are electing MPs who will sit for up to half of the time climate scientists tell us we have left to tackle this crisis, and the BBC is holding a debate where everyone agrees with each other.

“All four parties support extracting fossil fuels until 2050 and beyond. They all want to expand major roads and aviation. Only the Greens recognise this can’t happen.

“But it’s not just on climate. The Scottish Greens are the most influential opposition party in Scotland. We have changed the tax system, granted new powers to councils and only last week, John Finnie’s bill on the equal protection of children received royal assent. To leave us out of the debate is ridiculous.”

Meanwhile, the Tories were accused of running scared after Chancellor Sajid Javid ducked out of a televised debate on the economy.

Despite promising to take part in Channel 4’s 90-minute programme, which was due to be broadcast this Sunday, the minister has said he can no longer make it.

That’s led to the programme being cancelled, despite Labour, the SNP and the LibDems all willing to take part.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell tweeted: “Sajid Javid is running scared of debating with me and completely understandably, as the Tories are inventing silly figures which Labour would pull apart in a public debate.

“Clearly the Tories can’t even cost their own programme.”

The SNP’s Ian Blackford urged the broadcaster to carry on with the show and “empty chair” Javid.

“It’s frankly embarrassing that the Tory Chancellor is doing a chicken run and refusing to defend his party’s record. Channel 4 should empty chair the Tories if they fail to turn up.

“The debate must go ahead – it would be a huge disservice to voters if broadcasters allowed the Tories to shut down debate and rig media coverage of the election in their favour.”

In other election news, Nicola Sturgeon is set to unveil plans for a Green Energy Deal to which will “press the case for more UK government support for the critical renewables industry”.

Sturgeon, who was campaigning in Edinburgh South with her candidate Catriona MacDonald, said “radical action” was needed to “tackle the climate emergency and secure the future of our green energy industry.”

She added: “Scotland is already a world-leader on tackling the climate crisis and delivering green energy. By contrast, Westminster has wasted years obsessing over nuclear power and a complete lack of vision and ambition over the energy technologies of the future.

“Put bluntly, there is no more time to waste – it’s time for Westminster to get its act together.”

Elsewhere on the campaign trail fish dominated, with Jackson Carlaw claiming that the other Scottish parties risked “abandoning” fishing communities.

The interim Scottish Conservative leader was speaking during an early-morning visit to Fraserburgh fish market to meet skippers and industry leaders with Banff and Buchan candidate David Duguid.

Carlaw said: “Voters in coastal communities like Fraserburgh have a clear choice at this election.

“A vote for the Scottish Conservatives means getting Brexit sorted and getting our fishermen out of the EU and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

“A vote for anyone else risks abandoning our fishing fleets to EU rules and a situation where foreign vessels catch more than half the fish in our waters.”

He added: “After Brexit, we will be an independent coastal state, just like Norway, Iceland and the Faroes.

“We will negotiate annually on quotas and access, taking back control over our own waters for the first time in more than 40 years.”

Duguid’s SNP rival Paul Robertson, warned the industry not to believe Tory promises: “The Tories have made these same tired and hollow promises for three years now. And the more we know, the worse any form of Brexit looks like for Scotland’s fisheries sector. Just as they sold out Scottish fishing on the way in, they can still sell us out on the way out – or in annual fisheries negotiations.”

He added: “Despite Boris Johnson’s damaging Brexit deal singling out Scotland for a raw deal – threatening thousands of jobs and allowing Scotland’s fishing sector to be one of the hardest-hit sectors in the whole of the UK – the Scottish Tory MPs backed his deal without hesitation.”