Sunak and Starmer talk over each other during heated ITV leaders’ debate

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer have been reprimanded for talking over each other during a fiery ITV leaders’ debate.

Host Julie Etchingham had warned the pair to stick to a 45 second per question rule, but repeatedly had to curtail the politicians’ answers.

After one exchange, she told them: “Please, an appeal from me not to speak over one another. We want to make sure that everybody can hear what you’re saying.”

“Thank you, not over each other,” she said later.

“Gentlemen please, we’re just going to take a pause there.”

General Election campaign 2024
PM Rishi Sunak, host Julie Etchingham and Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer (Jonathan Hordle/ITV)

After a commercial break, the host warned them: “Just a little information for both of our candidates here, please, an appeal from me, not to speak over one another.

“We want to make sure that everybody can hear what you’re saying.

“That was a gentle reminder, it may not be so gentle next time.”

One viewer posted on X: “This debate is absolutely awful.

“The moderation is dreadful. The time to answer, and space to answer, is awful.

“The constant interruptions are awful. Everything is awful. I have zero confidence it will give a single voter any help in making a choice.”

Another said: “Julie, please get hold of this, stop letting him talk over you.”

Later, as the debate over immigration got heated, the Prime Minister raised his voice asking the Labour leader: “What are you going to do with illegal migrants?”

Etchingham intervened: “Please gentleman, we will lower our voices.”