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Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer set to go head to head in election debate

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will go head to head in a General Election debate on the BBC.

The debate between the Prime Minister and the Labour leader will be hosted by BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth and take place in Nottingham, airing on BBC One and BBC News on June 26.

BBC journalist Mishal Husain will host a 7 June debate between leading figures from the Conservative Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party (SNP), Plaid Cymru, Green Party and Reform UK.

The audience and members of the public will have the chance to ask questions during the debate in London.

Also included in the BBC’s election coverage is a two-hour long Question Time leaders’ special, hosted by Fiona Bruce, on 20 June.

The leaders of the four biggest political parties – the Conservative Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats and SNP, will answer questions from the studio audience for 30 minutes each.

It is understood that both Mr Sunak and Sir Keir have signed up for the final debate, as well as the Question Time special, with the corporation awaiting confirmation of those attending the first debate.

BBC journalist Nick Robinson has invited the leaders of the seven biggest political parties in Britain to be interviewed for Panorama specials, airing over the next four weeks.

Additional dedicated debates will also take place in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Jonathan Munro, deputy chief executive of BBC News, said: “TV debates have become a key part of elections in the UK, giving voters the chance to hear leaders and senior politicians debate policies and ideas directly with each other, which rarely happens on the campaign trail.

“The BBC brings people together. Providing a shared space for people to debate and discuss is a vital part of our mission, so I’m delighted we’re holding this series of debates and election specials, hosted by such talented presenters.”

The seven-handed election debate will be broadcast on the BBC from 7.30pm to 9pm on Friday 7 June .

The Question Time special will be broadcast from 8pm to 10pm on Thursday 20 June.

The prime ministerial debate will air from 9pm to 10pm on Wednesday 26 June.

All three programmes will air on BBC One, BBC News and be available on BBC iPlayer.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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