Despite invitations to Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers and MPs over the course of several weeks, none took up the challenge of debating with general secretary, Mike Clancy and Alison Seabeck MP.
It is a bitterly disappointing response, particularly from the Conservative Party, which claimed it wanted the union to engage with its candidates the run up to the general election on 7 May.
More broadly it represents a lost opportunity for both coalition partners to engage with a union membership that wishes to form policy on evidence and whose party political posture is neutrality - reflecting the breadth of opinions that will exist within the membership.
“The union is doing more than it is ever has to inform members on the policies of our main political parties. Part of that was organising a Westminster debate. Sadly, members may not now have the opportunity to do that face-to-face with politicans in London,” said Mike Clancy.
“Our engagement with the political community will continue nonetheless. We have written to all governing and official opposition parties to seek their views on key issues for members and will be producing briefings for members to discuss with their local candidates. So, along with planned debates in Wales and Scotland, there are still oppotunities for the coalition parties to engage. It will be their loss of opportunity to put their views across if that does not happen”.
Note: Prospect will be publishing all responses received at http://ge2015.prospect.org.uk/