28/05/2019 17:56 BST | Updated 28/05/2019 18:34 BST

Tory Leadership Hopefuls To Face Grilling In TV Debates - If They Accept BBC Invitation

Final two candidates could also be scrutinised in an interview with Andrew Neil.

PA Wire/PA Images

Tory MPs vying to become the party’s next leader are set to battle it out in a series of live TV debates, it has been announced.

Candidates to replace Theresa May – who currently include Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab and Michael Gove – will be invited to take part in a televised hustings in mid-June and moderated by Emily Maitlis, the BBC said on Tuesday. 

Sky News will host the final two contenders, in a head-to-head hosted by Kay Burley.

However, it is yet unclear who will agree to the debates. While health secretary Matt Hancock – who is also running for leader – has previously called for such a hustings, other candidates have been silent on the issue. 

Once those running for the leadership have been whittled down by Tory MPs, the final two candidates will be given the chance to “put their case” to voters in a special edition of Question Time, the BBC said. 

They will also be invited to take part in a one-to-one interview with Andrew Neil. Each will be aired as a standalone programme during the voting period for Tory Party members.  

Fran Unsworth, the director of BBC News, said: “The decision being made by Conservative Party members will profoundly affect us all, so it feels right that BBC audiences get a chance to see the candidates debate with each other, and that we scrutinise the various policy proposals they will be standing on.”