UK Candidates' Debate Halted After Host Faints

A loud crash was heard as Liz Truss spoke
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2022 5:29 PM CDT

A loud crash was heard—and then the debate was canceled. The second head-to-head debate between the two Conservative Party lawmakers seeking to become Britain's next prime minister came to an abrupt end Tuesday night when the host fainted off-camera, the Guardian reports. Video shows candidate Liz Truss's shocked reaction when the crash was heard while she was speaking about Vladimir Putin. The Telegraph reports that Truss rushed over to help presenter Kate McCann.

Truss and rival Rishi Sunak chatted to audience members before TalkTV confirmed that the debate would not continue. "Kate McCann fainted on air tonight and although she is fine, the medical advice was that we shouldn't continue with the debate," the channel tweeted. The candidates said they were relieved to hear McCann was OK and they would be happy to have a rematch, the BBC reports. Harry Cole, political editor of the Sun newspaper, had been lined up to co-host the debate but he pulled out after testing positive for COVID.

Sunak and Truss are vying for leadership of the Conservative Party. The winner of a vote among party members in the coming weeks will replace Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Tuesday night's debate was scheduled to last an hour but it was halted around halfway through. The biggest clash before McCann collapsed involved Sunak's decision as finance minister to raise mandatory contributions to the National Insurance social security program to pay for health care and social care. Truss told Sunak it was "morally wrong" to "put up taxes on ordinary people" at a time when families are "struggling to buy food." (More United Kingdom stories.)

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