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ITV will host debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt

ITV will host first head-to-head Tory leadership debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt following BBC ‘debacle’

  • The broadcaster has promised to ‘get answers to the questions that matter’
  • ITV announced debate after Michael Gove was knocked out the leadership race 
  • It comes following the BBC leadership debate that was heavily criticised 

ITV will host a head-to-head debate between Conservative leadership candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.

The broadcaster has promised to ‘get answers to the questions that matter’ in its coverage of the two hopefuls to be the next prime minister.

ITV made the announcement following news that Michael Gove had been knocked out of the leadership race leaving Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt competing for votes from the Tory membership.

It comes after the BBC programme featuring the five would-be PMs has been widely condemned after it emerged one of the ‘ordinary voters’ posting questions was an imam who had previously posted vile tweets about Israel.

Hunt and Johnson are the final two candidates remaining. (Yui Mok/PA)

Another was a former Labour staffer. There was also fury about the format – which contenders complained made them look like an aging boyband – and how presenter Emily Maitlis weighted into the exchanges.

An announcement made on Twitter said: ‘ITV is pleased to announce that we will be hosting the first head-to-head debate between the two candidates hoping to be Prime Minister.

‘The debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt will take place on 9 July and will be hosted by Julie Etchingham.’

The ITV announcement follows leadership debates hosted by Channel 4 and the BBC.

It is understood the BBC want to continue their coverage with a special Question Time with Fiona Bruce, and Sky also want a head-to-head hosted by Kay Burley.

ITV previously stated: ‘ITV will provide coverage across both TV and online, with ITV News’ journalists scrutinising the candidates for Conservative leader, getting answers to the questions that matter.

‘Our plans will include both a head-to-head debate and interviews, as well as trusted impartial analysis across our ITV news bulletins.’


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