Race for British Prime Ministership: Sky News hosts first live TV debate

Sky News will host the first live television debate featuring the candidates for the next leader of Britain’s Conservative Party and the country’s next Prime Minister.

Current Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned last week amid mounting scandals and the resignation of his top ministers, but will remain in that position until a new leader is elected by the party.

So far there are 11 contenders, including former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and current Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi; former Equality Minister Kemi Badenoch, who is joined by former Leveling Up Secretary Michael Gove; Attorney General Suella Braverman; current Foreign Minister Rehman Chishti; former Health Ministers Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid; current Trade Secretary Penny Mordaunt; current Transport Secretary Grant Shapps; current Secretary of State Liz Truss; and Chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat.

There is speculation that current Home Secretary Priti Patel could join the fight. Former Brexit Secretary Steve Baker has dropped his own leadership bid and backs Braverman, while former Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, who is believed to be the front runner for the post, has withdrawn from the contest.

On 18 July at Sky News Studios in west London, the contestants will go head-to-head in a live debate moderated by Kay Burley and also face questions from a virtual studio audience.

Sky News chief John Ryley said: “There has never been a more important time to restore voters’ confidence in the Prime Minister’s office. This live TV debate on Sky News gives candidates a chance to reconnect with millions by discussing the UK’s most pressing issues. It offers a unique opportunity to re-engage a disaffected constituency.”

Unlike the US, where live TV debates for the US presidential race began in 1956, this is a relatively new practice in the UK, with Sky and other broadcasters hosting the first heads of state debates in 2010.

The leadership contest will be decided by a national vote of Conservative Party ballot members. The winner is sworn in as British Prime Minister.

https://variety.com/2022/politics/global/uk-prime-ministership-sky-live-debate-1235313203/ Race for British Prime Ministership: Sky News hosts first live TV debate

Charles Jones

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