Conservative Leadership Debates: When is the first televised debate, how to watch, who is the chair, and when are the other debates?

The final five candidates are set to be quizzed on why they think they should become the next British Prime Minister.

Channel 4 have announced the latest in a series of debates to take place between the remaining candidates hoping to become the next leader of the Conservative Party, and replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.

Yesterday (July 14) saw Suella Braverman being eliminated in the second ballot, with Jeremy Hunt and Nadhim Zahawi casualties of the first.

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It leaves Kemi Badenoch, Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Tom Tugendhat battling to win over fellow MPs and the party’s membership, with Sunak and Mordaunt the current front runners.

Further votes next week will whittle the field down to two remaining candidates, but before then they will be grilled by their rivals, studio audiences and members of the public.

Here’s everything you need to know.

When is the first debate?

The Channel 4 debate was the last to be announced, but will be the first to be held, on Friday, July 15, at 7.30pm.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy will helm the first Conservative leadership debate on Channel 4.Krishnan Guru-Murthy will helm the first Conservative leadership debate on Channel 4.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy will helm the first Conservative leadership debate on Channel 4.

The debate will be held live, will last 90 minutes, and will simply ask: “Who's the right choice to be Britain's next Prime Minister?”.

It will take place in front of a live studio audience of floating voters, who will also have the chance to ask the candidates questions.

A statement from Channel 4 states: "As the Conservatives prepare to elect a new leader, this live debate asks: who’s the right choice to be Britain’s next Prime Minister?

"After Boris Johnson’s dramatic resignation, the race is on to follow him into Number 10. And with the most diverse field of candidates ever, it’s a wide-open field."

How can I watch the debate?

You can watch the debate live on Channel 4 or on catch-up once the programme has finished on All 4.

Who will present the first debate?

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The debate will be chaired by lead presenter of Channel 4 News Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

He joined Channel 4 News in 1998 and is the second-longest-serving presenter after Jon Snow.

Previously he had reported for children's news programme Newsround, worked as a producer and reporter for BBC’s Newsnight for three years, and was one of the launch presenters for BBC News 24 in 1997.

When are the other two debates being held?

The second debate is on Sunday July 17, at 7pm, on STV. It can be watched live or on catch-up on the STV Player.

The format and the chair have yet to be announced.

The third debate is on Tuesday, July 19, at 8pm on Sky News, by which time further candidates will have been eliminated.

It will be hosted by Kay Burley, with questions from a live virtual audience.

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