Tory hopefuls TV debate dramatically halted after host Kate McCann faints

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Tory hopefuls TV debate dramatically halted after host Kate McCann faints
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The Tory leadership debate dramatically went off-air after a presenter fainted in the TV studio.

As Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss were clashing once again over taxes, NHS funding and the economy in their second head-to-head televised debate, a loud crash interrupted the two Conservative rivals.

TalkTV’s political editor Kate McCann collapsed feeling unwell.

Foreign Secretary Truss looked visibly worried and could be heard saying “oh my god”, as she walked off the stage.

The programme immediately went off-air, with a message appearing on the screen, saying: “We are sorry for the disruption to this programme.

“We are working hard to fix the issue and will return to normal programming soon.”

However, the debate was later stopped and it will not be resumed.

TalkTV Political Editor Kate McCann with Liz Truss and Rushi Sunak (PA)
TalkTV Political Editor Kate McCann with Liz Truss and Rushi Sunak (PA)

TalkTV has apologised to viewers and said in a statement: “Kate McCann fainted on air tonight and although she is fine, the medical advice was that we shouldn’t continue with the debate.

“We apologise to our viewers and listeners.”

Ms McCann was meant to appear alongside The Sun’s political editor Harry Cole, but he tested positive for Covid-19 earlier today.

Sunak tweeted to wish the journalist well saying: “Good news that you’re already recovering @KateEMcCann.

“It was a great debate and I look forward to getting grilled by you again shortly.”

Liz Truss and Rushi Sunak (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)
Liz Truss and Rushi Sunak (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

Truss extended her sympathies to Ms McCann, saying on Twitter: “Relieved to hear @KateEMcCann is fine.

“Really sorry that such a good debate had to end. Look forward to catching up with Kate and the rest of the team again soon.”

TalkTV presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer tweeted: “Ok. I’ve been told that @KateEMcCann is ok. That’s all I know.”

Senior Tories sent their best wishes to Ms McCann.

Welsh Secretary Sir Robert Buckland tweeted that he hoped she was OK.

Foreign Office minister Amanda Milling said: “She was doing a brilliant job. Get well soon!”

Before the debate stopped Sunak said it was “entirely reasonable” to ask the largest companies to pay “a bit more” tax because they received taxpayer-funded support during the pandemic.

The former chancellor added: “As we think about ‘well, how do we fix this problem, how do we fund the things, the public services that we rely on’, is it reasonable to ask the biggest companies in the country to pay a bit more tax?

“They still will pay a very generous rate of tax compared to most other countries.”

But Truss, who would scrap the scheduled 19p to 25p increase in corporation tax, said: “I am not talking about cutting corporation tax, I’m talking about not raising corporation tax.

“Under Rishi’s plan we will end up raising corporation tax to the same level it is in France, more than 10 percentage points higher than it is in Ireland.”

Sunak’s policies would make the UK less competitive and push the country into recession, she warned.

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