More than four million tune in for ITV’s Tory leadership debate

The latest Tory leadership debate was watched by more than four million viewers, ITV has said.

According to overnight figures from the broadcaster, Britain’s Next Prime Minister: The ITV Debate – which saw Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt go head to head – drew an average of 4.3 million viewers.

The programme peaked with 4.7 million viewers.

The televised showdown was the public’s first chance to see a contest between the two men in the running to become the next prime minister.

Boris Johnson, left, with moderator Julie Etchingham, centre, and Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson, moderator Julie Etchingham, and Jeremy Hunt (Maja Smiejkowska/ITV/PA)

Mr Johnson, the favourite in the contest, and Mr Hunt clashed over Brexit, Donald Trump and taxes during the hour-long programme, moderated by Julie Etchingham.

According to ITV, the broadcast was the most-watched programme in the 8pm time slot on Tuesday, and was the second most-watched on TV overall after Emmerdale.

BBC One’s debate in the Tory leadership contest, which aired in June and saw five hopefuls take part, was watched by more than five million viewers.

The BBC’s Our Next Prime Minister drew an average of 5.3 million viewers and peaked at 5.7 million in the overnight ratings.

Britain’s Next PM – The C4 Debate, shown on Channel 4 earlier that week, averaged 1.3 million viewers and peaked at 1.5 million.

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