TV skirmish between Sunak and Truss stopped after host passed out on live TV

A second TV showdown between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss was abruptly halted and subsequently canceled after host Kate McCann collapsed on live television.

The Tory leadership debate, broadcast on TalkTV, ended just over half way when a loud noise interrupted the foreign secretary, who raised her hands to her face and said, “My God.”

The debate was then taken off the air.

TalkTV apologized to viewers for not resuming the program, saying in a statement, “Kate McCann passed out on the air tonight and while she is fine, the medical advice was that we should not continue the debate.”

“We apologize to our viewers and listeners.”

Ms. McCann, TalkTV’s political editor, was scheduled to co-host The Sun Showdown: The Fight for No.10 alongside The Sun’s political editor Harry Cole, but he tested positive for Covid-19 hours before the program should have gone on air.

The former chancellor and foreign minister tweeted shortly after the break to wish the journalist well.

Speaking to the PA news agency, audience member Jordan Kiss of Warrington said: “We were genuinely shocked by what happened and some of us were very concerned.”

Mr Kiss, who was sitting in a private room at the Ealing studio, said “the producers reassured us and said that a paramedic was on the scene and that he was paying attention to Kate.”

Before the debate was taken off the air, the two Tory rivals once again clashed horns as they fought for the support of their party members, with taxes and the economy causing the most animosity.

Ms. Truss said it was “immoral” to raise taxes during a cost-of-living crisis, but Mr. Sunak quickly countered, saying it was “morally wrong” to pile new debt on future generations.

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TalkTV political editor host Kate McCann at TalkTV Ealing Studios (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Foreign Minister said: “What has happened is that the tax on families has been raised through the National Insurance so that they have to pay more money to the Treasury.

“I really think it’s morally wrong at this point in time when families are struggling to pay for food that we are taxing ordinary people when we said we wouldn’t do it in our manifesto and when we didn’t need to do it.” .

Intervening, Mr. Sunak said: “It is morally wrong to ask our children and grandchildren to pay bills that we are not prepared to pay.”

The two also fell out over the rise in National Insurance that was introduced to pay for the NHS and Social Security.

The former chancellor called himself ‘bold’ for introducing a £12bn tax hike to pay for social health care, speaking of the debate: ‘I made sure we got the NHS funding we needed to help catch up , provide everyone with the help they need, and do so as quickly as possible.

“It wasn’t easy for me to do it, I got a lot of criticism for it, but I think it was the right thing to do because I don’t think we can have an NHS that ends up being number one in the country. a priority public service that is underfunded and unable to provide the necessary assistance.

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Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak during the debate (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

“And that’s why I think you can be sure that the NHS is safe in my hands because I made a bold decision to get the support I need.”

On the other hand, Ms Truss said she would forego the national insurance increase and use general taxation to fund the NHS.

She said: “I am committed to the extra money that has been announced for the NHS. This is necessary to deal with the backlog and I would finance this money from general taxation.

“According to my plans, we can still start paying off the debt within three years, so it’s affordable, and the fact is, whatever Rishi says now, we didn’t need to increase the national insurance to pay, we did it. With this money in the budget, it was a choice to break our manifesto commitment and raise National Insurance.

“I think it was the wrong choice, I opposed it at the time in the cabinet, I still remain against it and I would reverse this increase.”

Regarding “how we finance things” and “the government services we rely on,” Mr Sunak said it was “perfectly reasonable” to ask the biggest companies to pay “a little more” in taxes because they were getting support funded by taxpayers during the pandemic. .

However, Ms Truss, who will forego a planned increase in income tax from 19p to 25p, said: “I’m not talking about lowering income tax, I’m talking about not raising income tax.

“Under Rishi’s plan, we will eventually raise corporate tax to the same level as in France, more than 10 percentage points higher than in Ireland.”

Andrew from London, logistics coordinator at Heathrow Airport, also asked Mr. Sunak if he had the courage to stand up to (Vladimir) Putin.

The former chancellor replied, “Yes Andrew, that’s a quick answer and the reason you can trust me is because as chancellor I did a couple of things that demonstrate that strength, a year and a half ago I made sure our armed forces have received the biggest increase in funding since the end of the Cold War to make sure we are protected from threats like Putin.

“As chancellor, I have also worked with all my finance ministers around the world to put in place a package of sanctions the likes of which we have never seen, to try to increase control over Putin’s war machine, stop the funding coming to him, and it really needs firmness. to stand up to him, and that will require all of us to go through hard times.”