Belfast Telegraph

BBC to host General Election debate of Northern Ireland parties

The Northern Ireland debate will be chaired by the BBC's Noel Thompson
The Northern Ireland debate will be chaired by the BBC's Noel Thompson

The BBC has announced a series of leaders' debates ahead of the December General Election.

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A debate featuring the leaders of Northern Ireland's main parties will take place in front of a studio audience on December 10 at 10.45pm, chaired by Noel Thompson.

There will be two prime-time programmes, one between Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on December 6 and another featuring seven representatives from parties in Great Britain on November 29.

Both will be hosted by the BBC's Nick Robinson and see each of the panellists making a short opening statement before being grilled with policy questions.

“The BBC Prime Ministerial Debate and the BBC Election Debate will illuminate the choice we all face between competing parties, leaders, policies and visions for the country," said Nick Robinson.

"They are just one of many ways the BBC aims to do that. I hope they’ll reach people who don’t normally switch on for politics on TV.

"I covered my first election in 1987 and it’s an absolute thrill to have played a part over the years as a researcher, producer, political editor and now as debate host.”

There will also be a debate programme aimed at younger audiences and first time votes and a Question Time Leaders' Special, which will see party leaders taking questions from the audience.

In addition to the Northern Ireland leaders debate, there will also be programmes dedicated to Wales and Scotland.

UTV, meanwhile, has said plans are being finalised for a debate in December.

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