Host collapses during live prime minister's debate in Britain: 'Oh my god'

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A debate between the two candidates vying to take over from Boris Johnson as Britain's next prime minster has been dramatically cancelled after the presenter fainted live on air.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former finance minister Rishi Sunak were going head-to-head for the second time in the TV event, hosted by journalist Kate McCann, on Tuesday night (local time).

However the debate was abruptly halted after a loud crash was heard.

The camera was on Ms Truss as the moment unfolded and a look of horror flashed across her face.

Rushi Sunak and Liz Truss with host TalkTV Political Editor Kate McCann in the middle.
Rushi Sunak and Liz Truss with host TalkTV Political Editor Kate McCann in the middle. Source: Reuters

The candidate – who is the bookmaker's favourite to lead the conservative government – was speaking about standing up to Vladimir Putin when the host suddenly collapsed in front of her.

"If he succeeds in Ukraine, he's not going to stop there. He's going to challenge the freedom and democracy..."

At this point a loud crash could be heard.

"Oh my god," a visibly concerned Ms Truss said.

As she walked over to help Ms McCann, the broadcast cut away.

The debate was hosted by Talk TV and the Sun newspaper who later apologised for abruptly ending the event.

"Although she is fine, the medical advice was that we shouldn't continue with the debate. We apologise to our viewers and listeners," Talk TV said on Twitter.

The broadcast had briefly resumed showing the two candidates talking to a small audience in the studio, although there was no sound.

Both Ms Truss and Mr Sunak later sent messages on Twitter wishing McCann well.

"Relieved to hear @KateEMcCann is fine. Really sorry that such a good debate had to end," Ms Truss said.

Host TalkTV Political Editor Kate McCann fainted during the live debate.
Host TalkTV Political Editor Kate McCann fainted during the live broadcast. Source: Reuters

Before the premature end, the candidates had clashed over their tax and spending plans, and what they would do to address a cost of living crisis.

Ms Truss said her opponents emphasis on balancing the government's books and raising tax on business would tip the economy into recession.

"I do think it is morally wrong at this moment when families are struggling to pay for their 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," she said.

Mr Sunak, whose resignation from government earlier this month set in motion Boris Johnson's downfall, argued that money from tax rises he brought in was necessary to pay for extra spending on healthcare.

"I think what's morally wrong is asking our children and grandchildren to pick up the tab for the bills that we're not prepared to meet," he said.

The winner of the election, which will be decided by a ballot of the fewer than 200,000 Conservative members, will be announced on September 5.

with Reuters

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