When are the Tory leadership debates on TV?

Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch, Rishi Sunak and Tom Tugendhat are the final five people in the race. (Getty)
Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch, Rishi Sunak and Tom Tugendhat are the final five people in the race. (Getty)

The candidates in the leadership contest to be the next Conservative Party leader will face three live TV debates, it has been confirmed.

Channel 4, ITV and Sky News have said that they will host live debates featuring the contenders to succeed Boris Johnson.

A total of 11 Conservative MPs threw their hat into the ring after Johnson was forced to resign last week but the numbers have now been whittled down to five.

Suella Braverman was knocked out on Thursday, with the final people in race being Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Lizz Truss, Kemi Badenoch and Tom Tugendhat.

Sunak and Mordaunt are currently the bookies' favourite to win.

It is expected the final two will be known by 21 July with the final winner expected to be announced in early September.

When is the first Tory leadership debate?

Channel 4 will hold the first TV Tory leadership debate with all five candidates at 7.30pm.

Hosted by Krishnan Guru-Murthy over 90 minutes, the candidates still in the running for the top job will face questions from a studio audience of floating voters.

When is the second Tory leadership debate on TV?

The debate will be broadcast on ITV on Sunday at 7pm. It will take place at the channel's White City studios in west London.

The channel said its last Tory leadership debate, between Johnson and Jeremy Hunt in 2019, was watched by 4.4 million viewers.

Penny Mordaunt at the launch of her campaign to be Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, at the Cinnamon Club, in Westminster, London. Picture date: Wednesday July 13, 2022.
Penny Mordaunt is the surprise favourite of the race to be leader. (PA)

Michael Jermey, ITV's director of news and current affairs, said: "Television debates at important elections help voters engage with politics.

"ITV has been the home of some of the biggest political debates over the past decade. Sunday's debate will be an important event as the country's next prime minister is chosen."

When is the third Conservative Party leadership debate broadcast?

A third live Tory leadership debate will be broadcast on Monday, 18 July by Sky News.

It will be hosted by Kay Burley at the channel's studios in west London.

A virtual studio audience will ask questions of the candidates.

The debate will be broadcast live and for free on Sky News and streamed on YouTube. Further details about timings will be announced later.

File photo dated 18/05/22 of former chancellor Rishi Sunak who has announced he will stand to be the next leader of the Conservative Party. Issue date: Friday July 8, 2022.
Former chancellor Rishi Sunak is one of the favourites to succeed Boris Johnson. (PA)

John Ryley, head of Sky News, said: “There has never been a more important time to reinvigorate the trust of voters in the office of the prime minister.

"This live TV debate on Sky News gives the candidates a chance to reconnect with millions by debating the major issues facing Britain. It presents a unique opportunity to re-engage a disillusioned electorate.”

How many candidates will take part in the TV debates?

For the first debate it is expected to feature all five candidates, with the second featuring four and the third feature either four or three depending on the speed at which people drop out.

Bob Blackman, joint-executive secretary of the 1922 Committee, told Sky News: “We’ve got to slim down the list of candidates pretty quickly to two.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss leaving Millbank Studios in London. Picture date: Wednesday May 18, 2022.
Foreign secretary Liz Truss is currently in third place. (PA)

“And the one thing that we’re committed to do is to achieve getting to two candidates by Thursday 21 July.

“That means that we’ll hold a succession of ballots over the next few days in order to get to that position.”

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