Natalie Bennett
The Green Party has seen a surge in popularity recently and currently has more than 44,000 membersGreen party

Broadcasters have put forward new proposals that include the Greens as one of seven political parties taking part in the live televised pre-election debates.

Following David Cameron's refusal to take part unless Natalie Bennett's party was included alongside Ukip, the BBC and ITV are now offering to expand their coverage of the debate to include the Greens as well as the SNP and Plaid Cymru.

There will also be a second and third debate organised by Channel 4 and Sky News, which will still be a straight head-to-head between Cameron and Ed Miliband, according to Radio Times.

Cameron has been accused of being "chicken" for refusing to join the debate if Nigel Farage's Ukip are involved, a point he reiterated during PMQs on Wednesday 21 January.

"If we are going to have one minor party, we should have all the minor parties," he said.

In a joint statement, all four broadcasters said they "remain committed to providing election debates in the run-up to the general election. The debates played an important role in informing millions of our viewers in 2010 and we will continue to work with all the parties to ensure that they happen again in 2015".

The leader debates in 2010 – the first in British television history – featured Cameron, Nick Clegg and former prime minister Gordon Brown and were watched by more than 22 million people.