Tory leadership BBC TV debate: presenter and format explained

Advertisement

‘Our Next Prime Minister’ – which airs at 9pm on BBC One – is the first showdown between the current Foreign Secretary and the former Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Register to our What to Watch newsletter

Both candidates are likely to spend Monday (July 25) making final preparations for the debate, with today’s program providing an important opportunity for Ms Truss and Mr Sunak to speak directly to those who will be voting.

Advertisement

It comes as candidates prepare to take part in a series of husting events across the country, the first of which takes place in Leeds on July 28.

But who is presenting Our Next Prime Minister, what is the format and why is it important?

Advertisement
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will face off in the BBC’s live TV debate

Who is the moderator?

Sophie Raworth, one of the BBC’s senior newsreaders, moderates the live debate to a studio audience of 80-100 in Stoke-on-Trent.

Advertisement

Who are the Analysts?

BBC Political Editor Chris Mason and Business Editor Faisal Islam will offer an analysis of the debate – including a look at the issues discussed, the candidates’ performances and their likely impact on the polls.

Advertisement

Mr. Mason and Mr. Islam will also direct some follow-up questions to Ms. Truss and Mr. Sunak.

What is the format?

Advertisement

The BBC’s live debate takes place before a studio audience made up entirely of people who voted for the Conservative Party in the last general election.

Some of those people will be longtime Tories, others will have voted blue for the first time in 2019 – and at a time of rapidly dwindling trust in politicians, some will waver in their support.

Advertisement

Ms Raworth will take questions from the audience – meaning the two remaining leadership candidates will be able to speak directly to those who will vote for them before the UK’s next Prime Minister is announced on September 5.

How can I follow the debate?

Advertisement

Our Next Prime Minister will be broadcast live on BBC One at 9pm.

The 60-minute program will also be broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live, with coverage continuing after the debate and on BBC News Online and the BBC News Channel.

Advertisement

What questions await us?

Viewers can expect the current Foreign Secretary and former Chancellor to discuss a number of key issues, with the questions asked giving a good indication of what is important to voters.

Advertisement

But it’s likely that the cost-of-living crisis will play a key role in the debate, given that the candidates have been at loggerheads over their opposing plans for the economy.

Mr Sunak has positioned himself as a fiscally conservative candidate, calling his opponents, who have promised to cut taxes, “a comforting fairy tale”.

Advertisement

Ms Truss, on the other hand, has pledged to cut taxes immediately if she takes on the role of prime minister.

according to a YouGov survey67% of Britons see the economy as the biggest problem facing the country.

Advertisement

Why is it important?

With the postal ballots due to reach Tory members’ doorsteps by August 5, the BBC debate offers the two remaining leading candidates a crucial opportunity to win over party members before they start voting.

Advertisement

Mr Sunak in particular – who stands firmly behind Ms Truss in a number of polls and polls – is facing pressure to make solid arguments for his leadership.

Jonathan Munro, interim director of BBC News & Current Affairs, said of the debate: “We are delighted to offer BBC audiences the opportunity to be part of this defining moment in politics and to hear first-hand from the final two candidates They are competing to succeed Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.”

Advertisement