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First Sunak vs Starmer TV debate confirmed for 4 June on ITV

The first TV debate between Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will take place on Tuesday at 9pm, it has been confirmed.

ITV will host the live head-to-head on 4 June between the Conservative and Labour party leaders in the run-up to the general election on 4 July.

The broadcaster has said ITV News presenter Julie Etchingham will moderate the hour-long debate.

Sunak v Starmer: The ITV Debate, will be hosted in front of a large studio audience.

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.”

Mr Sunak has challenged Sir Keir to six TV debates, one a week, between now and the general election.

But Labour officials will only commit to two – run by the BBC and ITV.

Speaking to the BBC, Sir Keir said: “I can do one debate or 100, I know what Sunak is going to say.

“Of course there will be live TV debates, but I want to talk for as long as I can to voters directly and take my message to them and hear from them.

“At the end the power is with those voters.”

(This story is being updated)

Election 2024

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer are out on the campaign trail after the Prime Minister announced a surprise snap election on 22 May. i‘s general election live blog follows all the twists and turns of the election period from all the major parties.

So far, the Tories have announced a controversial mandatory national service policy which has garnered mixed opinion from across the political spectrum, and a “triple lock plus” for pensioners. Meanwhile, Starmer has set out a five-year plan to clear the NHS backlog, but eyes are on Diane Abbott after she was reportedly blocked from standing in her seat for Labour.

Odds on who will become the next Prime Minister currently favour Starmer, and the polls tell the story of a massive Labour majority.

Keep up to date with the 2024 general election in our extensive coverage, on everything from the main parties’ pledges on policies like immigration and pensions to the seats still without a candidate.

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