Tory leadership race: Contenders to take part in TV debate

Tory leadership candidatesImage copyright AFP/ Getty Images

Five of the six MPs vying to be Tory Party leader will take part in a debate on Channel 4 at 18:30 BST tonight.

The debate will be presented by Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

Frontrunner Boris Johnson will not be taking part in the debate, arguing that debates with several candidates “can be slightly cacophonous”.

Rivals have accused Mr Johnson of avoiding media scrutiny, but he has said he will take part in Tuesday’s Tory leadership debate on the BBC.

Speaking to Radio 4’s World at One, Mr Johnson said he was “pretty bewildered” by claims he was dodging scrutiny.

“I think the public have had quite a lot of blue-on-blue action, frankly, over the last three years,” he added.

He said the best time for a debate was on Tuesday after the second ballot.

The UK’s next prime minister

The contenders taking part in Channel 4’s debate will be Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Rory Stewart.

Mark Harper, Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey were eliminated after failing to get the necessary 17 votes in the first ballot of Tory MPs on Thursday.

Matt Hancock, who won 20 votes, has now withdrawn.

The rest will go on to take part in further ballots until two remain, when members of the wider Conservative Party will then get a chance to vote for their preferred choice.

On Tuesday 18 June BBC One will host a live election debate, hosted by Emily Maitlis, between the Conservative MPs who remain in the race.

The participants will face questions from viewers across the country via local TV studios.

If you would like to ask the candidates a question live on-air, use the form below. It should be addressed to all of them, not a specific politician.

If you are reading this page on the BBC News app, you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question on this topic.

Further MPs’ ballots are scheduled to take place next Wednesday and Thursday to whittle down the contenders until only two are left.

The final pair will be put to a vote of the 160,000 members of the Conservative Party from 22 June. The winner is expected to be announced about four weeks later.

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