New rules for debates

The independent body organising the series of three debates between President Donald Trump and his Democratic Party challenger Joe Biden has released new rules for the remaining two encounters.

The Commission on Presidential Debates said it had been trialling a number of options in the wake of the  shambolic first debate in Cleveland, Ohio, earlier this week.

A Commission spokesperson, Lincoln Douglas, said a number of potential refinements had been considered.

“We have examined the feasibility of having both Mr Trump and Mr Biden stand in soundproof booths for the entirety of the debate so that their microphones can be cut off if they stray from the agreed ground rules and they then can’t be heard no matter how loudly they try to interrupt each other,” Mr Douglas said.

“While the Biden team agreed, the Trump people said the President was slightly claustrophobic so we needed to drop that idea.

“Then we thought we might wire up both Mr Trump and Mr Biden so that they received slight electric shocks each time they broke the rules.

“Again the Biden team was fine with that idea but the Trump team wasn’t, so we dropped that idea too.

“In the end we have decided to run with the usual format but to have on stage a number of World Wrestling Federation referees to physically impose the debate rules.

“We had both candidates take part in a trial run of the format (main picture) and we think this will solve many of the problems apparent in the Cleveland encounter,” Mr Douglas said.