How to watch Tory leadership race debates on TV: when is next debate to become new Conservative Party leader?

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will appear in a live TV debate on Sky News as the Tory leadership battle continues

Tory leadership candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will next take part in a live debate on Sky News as they continue their campaigns to replace Boris Johnson as the leader of the Conservative Party and as Prime Minister.

The former Chancellor of the Exchequer and current Foreign Secretary most recently appeared in a BBC TV debate, where the leadership hopefuls clashed over the economy, taxation and Boris Johnson.

The debates will form a crucial part of the candidates’ leadership bids ahead of Tory party members casting their votes on 2 September, and come as Mr Sunk and Ms Truss prepare to attend nationwide hustings events - the first of which is taking place in Leeds on 28 July.

Sunak and Truss will now go head-to-head in the race to become Prime Minister

So when exactly are the next TV debates, which ones have already taken place, and why was one cancelled?

Friday 15 July (Past)

The first TV debate took place on Friday (15 July) at 7pm on Channel 4.

Britain’s Next PM: The Conservative Leadership Debate was shown live and is now available on the channel’s streaming platform All4.

The official description from Channel 4 read: “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?

“Krishnan Guru-Murthy hosts the debate with the candidates who are still in the running for the top job facing questions from a studio audience of floating voters.

“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.”

Sunday 17 July (Past)

ITV’s Tory leadership debate was shown live at 7pm on Sunday (17 July) and can now be watched on the ITV Hub.

Michael Jermey, ITV’s Director of News and Current Affairs, commented: “Television debates at important elections help voters engage with politics.

“ITV has been the home of some of the biggest political debates over the past decade. Sunday’s debate will be an important event as the country’s next Prime Minister is chosen.”

ITV previously held a debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt when they were competing to be Conservative leader in 2019.

Tuesday 19 July (Cancelled)

Sky News were supposed to host a debate between the leadership candidates on Tuesday (19 July), but Mr Sunak and Ms Truss pulled out of the event after some heated moments - and harsh attacks - in the first two debates.

Sky confirmed in a statement that the debate would no longer happen, adding: “Conservative MPs are said to be concerned about the damage the debates are doing to the image of the Conservative Party, exposing disagreements and splits within the party.

“Both are very welcome to take part in future Sky News televised debates.”

A spokesperson for Penny Mordaunt said: “It’s a shame some colleagues cannot find a way to debate one another in a civil way.”

Monday 25 July (Past)

The final two leadership candidates appeared in a live TV debate on BBC One at 9pm, Monday 25 July.

Presented by Sophie Raworth, ‘Our Next Prime Minister’ gave Ms Truss and Mr Sunak another chance to attempt to win over Tory party voters in front of an 80 - 100 people audience in Stoke-on-Trent.

The debate, as expected, became increasingly heated - and in the aftermath Ms Truss’ team accused Mr Sunak of “aggressive mansplaining”.

A snap poll by Opinium immediately after the debate found that Tory voters favoured the Foreign Secretary 47% to 38%.

Jonathan Munro, the interim director of BBC News and Current Affairs, said prior to the debate: “We’re delighted to be offering BBC audiences the chance to be part of this pivotal moment in politics and hear, first hand, from the final two candidates as they compete to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister.”

Thursday 4 August (Tonight)

Following on from the previous cancellation, Sky News has another chance to host a debate as Mr Sunak and Ms Truss have both agreed to take part in a head-to-head on 4 August.

Hosted by Kay Burley, the debate will take place live in front of a studio audience at 8pm.

It will be broadcast live and for free on Sky News (Channel 501), across Sky News’ digital channels, and also streamed on YouTube.

John Ryley, head of Sky News, said: “There has never been a more important time to reinvigorate the trust of voters in the office of the prime minister.

“This live TV debate on Sky News gives the final two candidates a chance to reconnect with millions by debating the major issues facing Britain.

“It presents a unique opportunity to re-engage a disillusioned electorate.”