Medical issue forces programme to be halted after half an hour of grilling
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.
I en uttalelse, the company added: “Although she is fine, the medical advice was that we shouldn’t continue with the debate. We apologise to our viewers and listeners.”
The break in transmission came just over half an hour into the hour-long grilling of Mr Sunak and Ms Truss by Ms McCann and readers of Solen avis.
Showet, titled “The Sun’s Showdown: The Fight for No 10” had already suffered a setback after Ms McCann’s scheduled co-host, Sun political editor Harry Cole, was forced to pull out after testing positive for Covid-19.
The show was one of the most high-profile broadcasts of Ms McCann’s career, which previously saw her serve as political correspondent for Sky News.
Moments after the programme went down, a spokesperson for News UK said: “There’s been a medical issue, it’s not a security issue and the candidates are OK. If we can get back on air, we will.”
Mr Sunak and Ms Truss remained in the studio after the incident, chatting with audience members off-camera.
And Mr Sunak later tweeted: “Good news that you’re already recovering @KateEMcCann. It was a great debate and I look forward to getting grilled by you again shortly!”
Ms Truss also sent a message on Twitter: “Relieved to hear @KateEMcCann is fine. Really sorry that such a good debate had to end. Look forward to catching up with Kate and the rest of the @TheSun@TalkTV team again soon.”
Until the interruption, their clash had been a less ill-tempered affair than Monday’s BBC debate, when Ms Truss seemed frustrated by the former chancellor repeatedly talking over her comments.
Mr Sunak appeared to have taken criticism on board and gave his opponent more space to speak.
And when asked if he had a question for the foreign secretary, he did not repeat his brutal query of whether she most regretted being a former Remainer or a former Lib Dem, instead asking whether she had enjoyed her 47th birthday today.
The pair were challenged by one Sun reader who said he had been unable to access adequate NHS help with cancer treatment and another who said she was being forced by rising prices to cut meat out of her family’s diet.
Ms Truss denounced Mr Sunak’s national insurance (NI) rise as “morally wrong”, just a day after the former chancellor said her plans to fund tax cuts through borrowing were “immoral”.
“I do think it is morally wrong at this moment when families are struggling to pay for food that we have put up taxes on ordinary people when we said we wouldn’t in our manifesto and when we didn’t need to do so," hun sa.
Mr Sunak shot back, saying it was “morally wrong” to heap more debt on future generations.
“What’s morally wrong is asking our children and grandchildren to pick up the tab for the bills that we are not prepared to meet,” Mr Sunak said.
He took a swipe at the foreign secretary’s record of voting Remain in the 2016 referendum on EU membership, telling viewers that they should take heart from the “incredible opportunities” provided by Brexit, legge til: “Like many of you, I was proud to vote for that.”
Mr Sunak said he was “brave” to introduce a £12bn tax increase to pay for health and social care, declaring: “That’s why I think you can be reassured the NHS is safe in my hands.”
But Ms Truss denied that her intention to reverse the 1.25 per cent NI rise would mean the health service losing out.
“I am committed to the extra money that was announced for the NHS," hun sa. “It is needed to deal with the backlog and I would fund that money out of general taxation.”