Sunak and Starmer agree to ITV debate on June 4

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will go head to head in the first televised leaders’ debate of the General Election campaign next week.

ITV confirmed the Prime Minister and the Labour leader will take part in the show at 9pm on Tuesday June 4.

The hour-long debate will be moderated by Julie Etchingham and take place in front of a studio audience.

Women of The Year Lunch and Awards 2019 – London
Julie Etchingham will moderate the ITV debate (Ian West/PA)

Michael Jermey, ITV’s director of news and current affairs, said: “Millions of viewers value the election debates.

“They provide a chance to see and hear the party leaders set out their pitch to the country, debate directly with each other and take questions from voters.

“ITV is pleased to be broadcasting the first debate in this year’s election campaign.”

The broadcaster also plans interviews with other party leaders and a multi-party debate.

(PA Graphics)

But SNP leader and Scottish First Minister John Swinney said it was “ridiculous” that his party – the third largest in the Commons – had been excluded from the June 4 showdown.

Sky News said it will host a “leaders’ event” on Wednesday June 12 in Grimsby, a key marginal seat the Tories won with a majority of 7,331 in 2019.

Sir Keir has agreed to take part, with talks ongoing with Mr Sunak’s team, according to the broadcaster.

A spokesperson for the Conservative Party told Sky that the Prime Minister would take part “and answer questions from voters, on the condition that he and Keir Starmer take those questions on stage together”.