SENIOR figures from across the political spectrum will go head-to-head in a General Election debate hosted by ITV in the coming weeks.

It comes after the broadcaster faced criticism for organising the first leadership debate of the election campaign featuring only the Tory leader and the opposition leader, with smaller parties such as the SNP excluded.

The multi-party debate on June 13 will feature “leaders or senior representatives” from the Conservatives, Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrats, Greens, Reform UK and Plaid Cymru.

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The 90-minute programme will be moderated by Julie Etchingham, who led the ITV election debates in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

Michael Jermey, ITV’s director of news and current affairs, said: “ITV’s debate programmes will allow millions of viewers to see and hear the politicians debate the big issues facing the country.

“Many of our viewers tell us they greatly value the TV debates.

“We’re pleased that ITV will be able to provide a forum in which voters can question the political leaders and in which the politicians can debate directly with each other.”

It will come after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer face-off in the first televised leaders’ debate on June 4, also to be moderated by Etchingham.

The one-to-one debate will be followed by an ITV Election Interviews show presented by Anushka Asthana.

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ITV has said that leaders of the SNP, LibDems, Greens and Reform UK have been invited to take part in this part of the show, although they will not appear in the debate.

An interview with the leader of Plaid Cymru, Rhun ap Iorwerth, will also be aired that evening in Wales.

Elsewhere, Sky News said it will host a “leaders’ event” on June 12 in Grimsby, a key marginal seat the Tories won with a majority of 7331 in 2019.

Starmer has agreed to take part, with talks ongoing with Sunak’s team, according to the broadcaster.

A spokesperson for the Conservative Party told Sky that the Prime Minister would take part “and answer questions from voters, on the condition that he and Starmer take those questions on stage together”.

The ITV Election Debate 2024 will be broadcast on ITV1, ITVX, STV and STV Player at 8.30pm, followed by ITV News at Ten.