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ITV and MultiStory Media bag first 2024 General Election TV debate

ITV Studios label Multistory Media, which has bases in Manchester and Leeds, as well as London, is to produce the first head-to-head General Election debate between Rishi Sunak, leader of the Conservative Party, and Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, screening on ITV1, ITVX and STV and STV Player on Tuesday, June 4 at 9pm.

The location for the hour-long debate, Sunak v Starmer: The ITV Debate, which will be moderated by Julie Etchingham in front of a studio audience, remains TBC.

Etchingham previously moderated General Election debates in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

Opposition leader Starmer is expected to take part in two head-to-head debates ahead of the election on July 4, matching the TV commitment of predecessors Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson at the 2019 election. Opponent and sitting PM Rishi Sunak has been pushing for six, weekly sessions ahead of the big day.

Live TV debates have been a part of UK politics since the 2010 General Election, and bagging the first one of this campaign represents something of a coup for ITV.

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.”

ITV plans to broadcast additional programming including an interview programme with other party leaders and a multi-party debate. Details on the further programmes will be announced in due course.

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