Belfast Telegraph

UTV election debate: Nigel Dodds to deputise for Arlene Foster

By Rebecca Black

The UTV leaders' debate is set to go ahead on Monday night as planned.

The first pre-election clash of the leaders of our local political parties had previously been postponed from its original broadcast date of May 24 following the devastation of the Manchester Arena attacks last month.

The terrorist attacks in London on Saturday night that left seven dead and 21 critically ill led to political parties calling off election campaigning that had been planned to take place on Sunday.

However, a UTV spokeswoman last night confirmed that it planned to proceed with the programme tonight.

The DUP will be the only party not represented at the debate by its leader, Arlene Foster, because she is set to be in France to mark the centenary of the Battle of Messines.

Instead, DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds will take part alongside Sinn Fein's northern leader Michelle O'Neill, Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood and Alliance leader Naomi Long. Presented by Marc Mallett, it is to be aired at 9pm this evening.

Read more

UTV election debate: Michelle O'Neill and Nigel Dodds clash over terrorism 

Meanwhile, BBC Northern Ireland is set to screen its local leaders' debate tomorrow evening.

In the final run-up to the general election on Thursday, Noel Thompson is set to host a debate - in front of a studio audience - featuring representatives from the five larger Northern Ireland parties.

It will be shown at 9pm.

Belfast Telegraph

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