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Tory leadership – live: Truss and Sunak debate cancelled after presenter faints on air

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Truss and Sunak TalkTV debate suddenly taken off air after big crash

The second live head-to-head between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak has been cancelled after the debate’s moderator fainted mid-broadcast.

The Sun’s Showdown: The Fight for No 10 was abruptly taken off air after a big crash was heard in the TV studio.

In the few seconds before screens went blank, Ms Truss could be seen stepping off the podium where she was speaking with a concerned expression on her face.

TalkTV, the broadcaster hosting tonight’s debate, issued a statement confirming reports that political editor Kate McCann collapsed just over 30 minutes into presenting tonight’s proceedings.

Its statement reads: “Kate McCann fainted on air tonight and although she is fine, the medical advice was that we shouldn’t continue with the debate. We apologise to our viewers and listeners.”

Before the debate was halted, Mr Sunak said it was “entirely reasonable” to ask the largest companies to pay “a bit more” tax because they received taxpayer-funded support during the pandemic.

But Liz Truss, who would scrap the scheduled 19p to 25p increase in corporation tax, said the former chancellor’s policies would make the UK less competitive and push the country into recession.

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Boris Johnson ‘tipped to become next Nato chief’

A number of senior Tories are backing outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson to replace Jens Stoltenberg as secretary-general of Nato, reports The Telegraph.

Norwegian politician Mr Stoltenberg, who has held the role since 2014, is expected to step down in Spetmeber next year.

(Getty Images)

Richard Drax MP, Mark Francois MP – both members of the defence committee – and David Jones, the former Brexit minister, spoke in favour of Mr Johnson taking on the defence role.

“If he were to apply to become the Secretary General of Nato, I suspect he could rely on President Zelensky for a reference,” Mr Francois told the newspaper.

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Many of tomorrow’s front pages are pasted with stills of No 10 hopeful Liz Truss reacting to the moment presenter Kate McCann fainted during Tuesday night’s leadership debate.

A loud crash was heard just over 30 minutes into the head-to-head between Ms Truss and Rishi Sunak.

Ms Truss was seen mouthing the words “Oh my God” before stepping away from the podium where she had been speaking.

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Starmer congratulates Lionesses on Euros semi-finals victory

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Watch: Keir Starmer says Tories ‘lost any real sense of purpose’ in BBC debate

Keir Starmer says Tories ‘lost any real sense of purpose’ in BBC debate

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Johnson says Churchill’s ‘spirit walking’ with Ukraine’s Zelensky

Boris Johnson has compared Volodymyr Zelensky’s leadership of Ukraine to the war-time exploits of Sir Winston Churchill.

The Prime Minister said he believed “Churchill would have cheered and probably have wept too” when the Ukrainian president insisted he needed “ammunition, not a ride” out of Kyiv when the Russian invasion was renewed in February.

He added he could imagine Sir Winston’s “spirit walking with you” and “jabbing the way ahead with his walking stick” throughout every ordeal.

Mr Johnson’s comments came during a ceremony in 10 Downing Street in which he presented Mr Zelensky, who appeared via video link, with the Sir Winston Churchill Leadership Award.

Members of the Churchill family and the International Churchill Society attended the ceremony.

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Conservative leadership TV debate pulled off air after presenter faints

A live debate featuring Conservative leadership candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss on news channel TalkTV was abruptly taken off air after the show’s moderator collapsed.

Viewers heard a loud crash and saw a visibly concerned Ms Truss mouth the words “Oh my God” before stepping away from the podium where she had been speaking. Just seconds later, the show disappeared from screens.

TalkTV owners News UK later confirmed that presenter Kate McCann, the station’s political editor, had fainted.

Andrew Woodcock and Ashley Cowburn have the full report on tonight’s debate:

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Watch: Liz Truss says raising national insurance was ‘a choice’

Tory debate: Liz Truss says raising national insurance was ‘a choice’

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Sunak says he was ‘brave’ to introduce social care tax increase

Rishi Sunak said he was “brave” to introduce a £12 billion tax increase to pay for health social care, telling the debate before it was cancelled: “I made sure we got the NHS the funding it needed to help work through the backlogs, get everyone the care they needed and do that as quickly as possible.

“It wasn’t an easy thing for me to do, I got a lot of criticism for it, but I believe it was the right thing to do as I don’t think we can have an NHS which is ultimately the country’s number one public service priority that is underfunded and not able to deliver the care it needs.

“And that’s why I think you can be reassured the NHS is safe in my hands because I’ve taken what was a brave decision to get it the support it needed.”

Liz Truss said: “I am committed to the extra money that was announced for the NHS. It is needed to deal with the backlog and I would fund that money out of general taxation.

“Under my plans, we will still be able to start paying the debt down within three years, so it is affordable, and the fact is whatever Rishi says now, we didn’t need to raise national insurance in order to pay, we did have that money available in the budget, it was a choice to break our manifesto commitment and raise national insurance.

“I think it was the wrong choice to make, I spoke out against it at the time in Cabinet, I still remain opposed to it and I’d reverse that rise.”

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Dorries ‘confident she will stay in job if Truss becomes PM’

Nadine Dorries has reportedly been “swanning around” her government department saying that she would remain as culture secretary if Liz Truss wins the Tory leadership contest.

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries

(Victoria Jones/PA)

This is according to the Mirror, citing a source quoted by the Politico website.

The Whitehall source said Ms Dorries was “pretty confident” that she would remain in her job if Ms Truss beats Rishi Sunak to become prime minister, according to the report.

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ICYMI: Truss strengthens lead after TV debate with Sunak

Liz Truss has widened her lead over her rival Rishi Sunak following last night’s TV debate, a bookmaker says.

The foreign secretary and former chancellor traded blows on the cost of living crisis, taxation and the economy in a lively contest on BBC One.

Read the full story here by Matt Mathers

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