UK Conservative debate abandoned after host faints on air

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A televised debate between the candidates to become Britain’s next prime minister had to be abandoned on Tuesday after the host fainted on air.

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, who are running to replace Prime Minister Boris Johnson, were debating on the Talk TV channel when a crashing sound was heard.

The camera was on Truss, who flinched and said “Oh my God” before the transmission was cut.

TalkTV later said in a statement that moderator Kate McCann “fainted on air tonight and although she is fine, the medical advice was that we shouldn’t continue with the debate.”

The debate was sponsored by The Sun tabloid and Talk TV, both owned by Rupert Murdoch. McCann, Talk TV’s political editor, had been scheduled to co-host alongside The Sun’s Harry Cole, but he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier on Tuesday.

The incident happened about half an hour into the hour-long debate, as Truss and Sunak sparred over taxes, how to help families struggling with the soaring cost of living and the best way to fund the National Health Service.

The pair are battling to succeed Johnson, who quit as leader of the governing Conservative Party on July 7 after months of ethics scandals triggered a mass exodus of ministers from his government.