Keir Starmer, Rishi Sunak to Face Off in U.K. Election Debate on ITV


Aspiring Prime Ministerial candidate Keir Starmer of the opposition Labour Party will face incumbent Rishi Sunak of the Conservative Party in the first televized debate of the upcoming U.K. general election.

The polls are scheduled to take place on July 4. The hour-long debate, “Sunak v Starmer: The ITV Debate,” will be on ITV1, ITVX and STV and STV Player on June 4 at 9pm local time. It will be moderated by Julie Etchingham, who previously moderated the 2015, 2017 and 2019 ITV debates, and will take place live in front of a studio audience. It will be made and produced by MultiStory Media, part of ITV Studios.

Michael Jermey, ITV’s director of news and current affairs, said: “Millions of viewers value the election debates. They provide a chance to see and hear the party leaders set out their pitch to the country, debate directly with each other and take questions from voters. ITV is pleased to be broadcasting the first debate in this year’s election campaign.”

ITV plans to broadcast additional programming including an interview program with other party leaders and a multi-party debate. Over at the BBC, there are plans for a multi-party debate as well.

Laura Kuenssberg and Clive Myrie, along with BBC political editor Chris Mason, will host the general election night TV coverage on BBC network news. They will be joined in the BBC’s London studio by Reeta Chakrabarti, who will be analyzing the results. Jeremy Vine will be broadcasting from Cardiff, Kirsty Wark from Glasgow and Andrea Catherwood from Belfast. John Curtice will offer psephological knowledge and insights.

Fiona Bruce, Victoria Derbyshire, Naga Munchetty, Nick Watt and Alex Forsyth will report from key locations around the country.

On July 5, the BBC’s coverage will be led by Sophie Raworth and Jon Kay, with deputy political editor Vicki Young alongside them as the shape of the U.K.’s new political map becomes clearer. Christian Fraser will be using graphics to build up a full picture of the new House of Commons. Nicky Campbell will anchor extended coverage from Glasgow.

The network programme will be shown on BBC One in England, BBC Two in Wales and Northern Ireland, and the BBC News channel in Scotland.

Dedicated election results programs on BBC One in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will be presented by Martin Geissler, Mark Carruthers and Nick Servini respectively, with Anne McAlpine hosting a Gaelic language election roundup on BBC ALBA.

Meanwhile, on Channel 4, Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Emily Maitlis, known for her Prince Andrew interview, will lead the coverage and will be joined by “The Rest is Politics” podcast hosts Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart. Cathy Newman will be presenting from the campaign headquarters for the Conservatives and Labour. C4 News political editor Gary Gibbon will provide analysis.



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