Sophie Raworth to skip presenting BBC election debate after fracturing ankle

Sophie Raworth will skip the BBC’s General Election debate after fracturing her ankle.

The BBC News presenter, 56, will continue to present bulletins and the second day of the BBC’s election night coverage, but will not moderate Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer going head-to-head in Nottingham on June 26.

Raworth said: “The injury I picked up at the London Marathon has now been diagnosed as a fracture in my ankle. I was only told this last week during the D-Day commemorations. I’m now on crutches, in a boot and non-weight-bearing for some time.

General Election campaign 2024
The BBC Election Debate hosted by BBC news presenter Mishal Husain (Jeff Overs/PA)

“Mishal Husain is a fantastic presenter and will be brilliant at moderating what is a really important debate for both the two leaders and the BBC. I’m delighted she is doing it.”

She will be replaced by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme host Mishal Husain, who hosted a previous debate by the broadcaster, which included representatives from the seven main parties including Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner and House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt for the Conservatives.

The debate with Tory leader Mr Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir, who have previously faced each other on ITV, has been extended to run from 8.15pm until 9.30pm.

Husain said: “Sophie has been remarkable in the pace and the way she’s worked in recent weeks, despite her injury.

“I can’t see myself ever stepping into her running shoes but she can count on me for this, as the two prime ministerial candidates face each other for their last television encounter.”

The BBC said an interview, part of a series with Today programme presenter Nick Robinson for Panorama, with Reform UK leader Nigel Farage has been “postponed for logistical reasons”.

General Election campaign 2024
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer (Jonathan Hordle/ITV)

Jonathan Munro, deputy chief executive of BBC News, said: “These debates are a key moment in the campaign – giving voters the chance to ask questions of their future prime minister.

“Mishal did an outstanding job on Friday – the BBC is very fortunate to have such a wealth of talent to draw upon. We’re wishing Sophie a speedy recovery; it seems it’s not only football managers who need to worry about foot injuries.”

The BBC will broadcast an interview with Prime Minister Mr Sunak on Tuesday, before a grilling with Labour leader Sir Keir airs on Friday.

Other leaders being interviewed by Robinson include the SNP’s John Swinney, Plaid Cymru’s Rhun ap Iorwerth, Green Party’s Adrian Ramsay and the Liberal Democrats’ Sir Ed Davey.

As part of the BBC’s election coverage a two-hour long Question Time leaders’ special will be hosted by Fiona Bruce on June 20.

BBC presenters Laura Kuenssberg and Clive Myrie will hosts the BBC’s election night coverage.