BBC to host debate between final two candidates in Conservative leadership race

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Kemi Badenoch, Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Tom Tugendhat before the live television debate for the candidates hosted by Channel 4 (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)
Kemi Badenoch, Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Tom Tugendhat before the live television debate for the candidates hosted by Channel 4 (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

The final two Conservative Party leadership candidates will be put through their paces on Monday in a head-to-head debate on the BBC.

As well as debating with each other, the finalists will also be grilled by former political editor Nick Robinson as they bid to win the support of party members preparing to vote for who should be the next prime minister.

Sophie Raworth will present the debate, which will be between two of former chancellor Rishi Sunak, foreign secretary Liz Truss, and trade minister Penny Mordaunt . They will be whittled down over the next few days.

Kemi Badenoch was eliminated from the race on Tuesday.

Mr Sunak and Ms Truss pulled out of a planned Sky debate on Monday which led to it being cancelled, but the BBC has said all three are keen to take part, should they still be in the running. The BBC’s economic editor Faisal Islam and poitical editor Chris Mason will also be a part of the broadcast, Our Next Prime Minister, at 9pm on BBC 1.

It will not be the last word on the party election, which will rumble on all summer before Conservatives vote on September 5 for who should replace Boris Johnson in number 10.

TV debates have already taken place on Channel 4 and ITV, with the screen time apparently helping Mr Sunak who has moved from third favourite to bookies’ choice - being shown on Tuesday to have a 52 per cent chance of winning. Ms Truss is second with 31 per cent, and Ms Mordaunt third on 18 per cent.

Jonathan Munro, the interim director of BBC News and current affairs, said: "We're delighted to be offering BBC audiences the chance to be part of this pivotal moment in politics and hear, first hand, from the final two candidates as they compete to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister."

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