Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Live Reporting

Edited by Chris Giles

All times stated are UK

  1. Thanks for joining us

    That's it from us for tonight - thank you for joining our coverage of tonight's Tory leadership special on Sky News.

    It was brought to you by Arryn Moy, James Harness, Emily McGarvey, Adam Durbin, George Bowden, James FitzGerald, Claire Heald and Chris Giles.

  2. What was said during tonight's event?

    The finalists in the Tory leadership contest, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, have been taking part in a leadership special on Sky News.

    Here's a round up of some of the main things they were asked about.

    Liz Truss

    • Said forecasts of a recession from the Bank of England were “extremely worrying” but insisted her plans for the economy could “change the outcome” of events
    • She refused a request to apologise for a controversial proposal made earlier in the week to link public sector pay to local living costs. Truss again stated the plan would not go ahead, insisting that it had been “misrepresented” by the media
    • Quizzed about other political changes of direction during her career, Truss argued that she shouldn’t be held responsible for views she held when she was a teenager

    Rishi Sunak

    • Said the Conservatives needed to "get real and fast” on the topic of the economy, following bleak forecasts from the Bank of England earlier today
    • He stressed that he had “bold and radical” ideas on issues including NHS reform and curbing illegal migration
    • Sunak again refused to concede the election race despite polls indicating a strong lead for his rival – saying he had won the backing of important Tory grandees

    It also seems Sunak won the room after a majority of Sky News’s live studio audience said they would be more likely to vote for him following an old-fashioned show of hands at the end of the broadcast.

  3. What are each of the finalists promising?

    We’ve heard more this evening about some of Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss’s policies.

    The contenders have different views on tax, the cost of living crisis and restoring trust in politics and politicians.

    So what exactly are the leadership hopefuls promising to deliver if they win the keys to No 10?

    Find out from our guide.

  4. Tory voters reflect on leadership special

    Image caption: Liz Truss supporter, Adele, says Sunak's missed appointment fines would affect the poorest and most vulnerable

    Conservative voters in Worcester have had a mixed reaction after tonight's programme.

    Adele, a Liz Truss supporter, says that Rishi Sunak suggests "the economy is the most important thing - I'm not sure I agree with him. I think there are other things just as important, like the issue of healthcare."

    She says Sunak's pledge to issue a fine for missed NHS appointments will affect the poorest and most vulnerable unfairly.

    Christy was undecided before the show, but she is now convinced Rishi Sunak would make the better PM.

    She says he came across "very strong, principled and honest and that's what the public need. You can trust him with the economy, he's been a very good chancellor, he's looked after people during the pandemic. He would make a fine prime minister."

    She says she doesn't think Liz Truss has the "experience or the drive to be prime minster".

    One undecided voter, Mark, thinks both candidates are excellent and would beat Labour leader Keir Starmer. "Either of them will keep the conservative flag flying high."

    Image caption: Christy from Worcester says Rishi Sunak would make a fine prime minister
  5. What makes them tick?

    The BBC's Nick Robinson has been revisiting interviews he did with Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak for his Political Thinking podcast.

    Here you can listen to the interview he did with Liz Truss in December 2021, where, as foreign secretary, she discusses facing down Russia on the global stage and talks comparisons of her with former Tory PM Margaret Thatcher.

    Click here to revisit Robinson's interview with Rishi Sunak from 2019, where he talks about working in his mother’s pharmacy and why he chose to vote Leave in the Brexit referendum.

  6. Truss not slick, but she's sincere - Kwarteng

    Kwasi Kwarteng - who supports Liz Truss in the leadership race - gives Sky News his reaction to what he's heard tonight.

    He concedes that "Rishi did well" but says it was only fair that Tory members were able to raise their "doubts" over pledges made during Sunak's campaign.

    Kwarteng is quizzed on whether Truss appeared too "strident" in some of her answers, for example by refusing to apologise following a U-turn over a public sector pay proposal.

    He acknowledges that Truss is "not as slick as other presenters", but insists she is "sincere, honest and hard-working".

  7. 'The more people see Sunak, the more they warm to him' - Raab

    The national polls may put Liz Truss well ahead in the leadership race but, as we've been reporting, Rishi Sunak won the audience vote tonight from those taking part in the Sky News programme.

    Sunak backer Dominic Raab says he wasn't surprised by this but admits it was a good debate from both candidates.

    "Rishi was more credible on the economy, and more compelling on the issue of uniting the party and he responded very strongly to tricky questions," Raab says.

    "He got the most applause out of the two candidates and the more people see Rishi Sunak, the more compelling and the more they warm towards him."

  8. Could Sunak's performance change the narrative of this contest?

    Rajdeep Sandhu

    Westminster Correspondent, BBC News

    It will be a boost for Rishi Sunak that at the end of the debate a majority of those undecided conservative members in the studio said they would vote for him.

    Given the prediction of polls, putting Liz Truss ahead, that might surprise many.

    The optics of lots of people putting their hands up in support of Rishi Sunak might be just what he needs to change the narrative of this contest.

  9. Studio audience votes in favour of Sunak for PM

    Image caption: The majority of audience members raised their hands for Rishi Sunak

    The live studio audience has expressed who they are most likely to vote for prime minister after hearing both candidates speak tonight.

    After a computer voting system crashed, an old-fashioned show of hands revealed the majority of the audience supported Rishi Sunak for party leader after the debate.

    A much smaller number of audience members raise their hands in favour of Liz Truss to be the next PM - in the unscientific poll.

    "I wasn't expecting that," remarks presenter Kay Burley.

    Image caption: Fewer audience members raised their hand for Liz Truss
  10. Sunak asked why government colleagues are backing Truss

    Presenter Kay Burley asks Sunak about the fact that so many of his former colleagues in government are backing Liz Truss.

    Sunak replies by pointing out he topped the polls of fellow MPs at every possible stage.

    He says he is "really humbled" by the support he has received from colleagues from "every part of the parliamentary party" and refuses to be drawn on who will be in his cabinet.

    "But I will build a team that reflects all the talent and traditions of our party," Sunak says, concluding that they will come together after this contest and defeat Labour at the next general election.

  11. Sunak answers quick-fire climate questions

    Some quick-fire questions for Sunak on climate issues next.

    Whether or not to open new coal mines are "local decisions" Sunak says - but he says he opposes importing the fuel.

    As for fracking - he says he's in favour "where it's supported by locals".

    When it comes to setting up new onshore wind farms, he says he is opposed - clarifying that he "didn't fully understand" a question put to him last night which appeared to signal a different view.

  12. £120m Rwanda refugee plan defended

    Sunak says he supports the UK's Rwanda policy - which sees asylum seekers sent to the African country.

    But he says reports he was lukewarm towards the idea perhaps came about because he asks "tough questions when cabinet ministers come to me and say 'oh we'd like to do this new things?'"

    He says "my job is to make sure everyone's money is spent properly".

    Sunak adds that the Rwanda plan, which cost £120m, is a pilot programme which is why it was expensive.

    "I believe in the policy but it's not good enough in government to just announce things, you need to deliver."

  13. Sunak promises to 'go further' to punish Putin

    Sunak is asked if he is tough enough to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin over Ukraine.

    The former chancellor says he was responsible for "the most stringent set of economic sanctions the world has ever seen" in punishing Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine.

    He says he can go even further if he becomes the prime minister.

    "Yes, I'm tough enough," he says.

  14. How high would bills need to go before we stop Ukraine support?

    Kay Burley asks the level energy and food bills would need to go to before the UK assesses its support for Ukraine.

    Sunak says he doesn't think that is the right way to look at the situation.

    He argues the UK can make an "enormous difference" between now and next winter in "reducing our dependence on Russian energy".

    Sunak adds he will announce more support for people as the economic situation has deteriorated, but says there are lots of things that can be done to improve energy storage and energy efficiency.

    He says investment in improving insulation in peoples homes can be done quickly to both reduce usage and save them money.

    Asked if Ukraine support will continue "if we lag our loft", Sunak says people ought to be doing it anyway because of climate change.

  15. I won't embark on a borrowing spree, says Sunak

    Rishi Sunak says the cause of the recession that was forecasted by the Bank of England today is inflation, not the tax burden.

    "That's the root of the problems we have," he says.

    He says gripping inflation is his priority and he's not going to embark on a "borrowing spree worth tens of billions of pounds, put that on the country's credit card, ask our kids and grandkids to pick up the tab because that's not right, it's not responsible and it's not conservative".

    He says inflation will be under control when "we're on a clearly downward trajectory and have a good line of sight that it's returning back to target".

    Income tax cuts will happen in Sunak's longer term plan, he says, because he says he believes really strongly in rewarding hard work.

  16. My record as chancellor during Covid speaks for itself - Sunak

    Now Sunak is asked by Kay Burley why voters should trust him given that the UK appears to be heading for recession following his work as chancellor.

    He says it's precisely because of his work in the Treasury that people should back him.

    He says he acted "boldly and radically" as chancellor during the pandemic - with policies including the furlough scheme.

    He claims to have saved 10 million jobs and over a million businesses.

    "People are grateful for it," he says.

  17. We need to get real over economic outlook, Sunak says

    The final question from the audience is about how Sunak would balance solving the cost of living crisis with keeping government debt under control.

    Sunak says that, given the Bank of England's dire forecasts this afternoon, the Conservative Party needs to "get real and fast because the lights on the economy are flashing red".

    He says the root cause of this is inflation and that he's worried that Liz Truss' plans will make things worse.

    Sunak adds he wants to do something different and the government's number one priority should be grappling with inflation and helping people with the cost of living crisis.

    He also says he wants to grow the economy, but that all starts with "not making the situation worse".

    "Because if we put fuel on the fire of this inflation spiral, all of us are going to end up with higher mortgages rates, savings and pensions eaten away and misery for millions," Sunak concludes.

  18. Sunak defends decision to resign

    Rajdeep Sandhu

    Westminster Correspondent, BBC News

    Rishi Sunak seemed to get very animated when he was defending his decision to resign from Boris Johnson's cabinet.

    There are some who think it was an act of betrayal. It's an area he is vulnerable and a question that keeps coming up.

    Perhaps that's why he seemed frustrated by the end of his answer.

  19. It was 'too difficult' to continue working with PM, says Sunak

    After being asked if he can be trusted, following accusations that he stabbed Boris Johnson in the back, Sunak says he is "proud" of the work he achieved alongside the prime minister.

    But he says that it became "too difficult" to stay in his job.

    They had "well documented differences on economic policy", he says.

    The government was also on the "wrong side of an ethical problem" he adds, referring to the scandal involving MP Chris Pincher.

  20. Sunak defends honesty despite wanting to take ex-PM's role

    Alexander asks Rishi Sunak what does honesty mean to him in politics and leadership?

    "Honesty in a sense means telling you the truth, even when that's not easy. I think you can see in this leadership election that's why I'm doing - I'm saying some things are not the easiest thing in the world to hear.

    "I'm not standing here promising you tens and tens of billions of pounds of goodies straight away because it's not right for our economy.

    "My life would be far easier if I wasn't saying that but I want to be honest with you and straight about the challenges we face and what going to be required to fix them."

    Audience member Steve responds by pointing out that Sunak worked with Boris Johnson but now wants to take over his role.

    Sunak says that while he is proud of the work they did together, "it got to a point where it was too difficult for me to stay.

    "It came to a point where the government was on the wrong side of an ethical dilemma that I could not defend," Sunak says.

Page 1 of 4