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STV invites leaders to rescheduled election debate

The broadcaster postponed the event after the terror attack in Manchester.

Leaders: During previous debate for 2016 Holyrood election.
Leaders: During previous debate for 2016 Holyrood election. PA

STV has invited the leaders of the main Scottish parties to take part in a live TV debate which was postponed after the Manchester terror attack.

The event had originally been due to take place in Glasgow last Wednesday, with the leaders of the four main parties scheduled to take part.

The broadcaster postponed the debate on the back of the atrocity in Manchester on Monday, May 22, which led to the deaths of 22 people and the injury of 119.

Political campaigning was suspended for three days out of respect for the victims of the attack at the Ariana Grande concert.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Kezia Dugdale of Scottish Labour, Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie, who leads the Lib Dems in Scotland, have all been invited to take part in a rescheduled debate on June 6.

Dugdale and Rennie have both confirmed their attendance at the event.

The debate would take place two days before polling day on Thursday, June 8, after the snap general election called by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Gordon Macmillan, STV's head of news, said: "As a result of the tragic events in Manchester last week, STV's planned debate last week was cancelled and we have now invited the leaders of the four main parties in Scotland to take part in a rescheduled debate on Tuesday, June 6.

"STV has moved quickly to identify another suitable prime-time slot and an alternative venue for this important debate.

"For more than 30 years, STV has provided viewers with a leaders' debate in the run up to both Westminster and Holyrood elections.

"While the debate is now scheduled just under two weeks later than originally planned, this will be the third time in the last ten years that we have provided a televised debate during the last week of campaigning."

The rescheduled debate would be chaired by STV's political editor Bernard Ponsonby at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow.

It would be broadcast live on STV between 8.30pm and 10pm, in front of an audience of 120 comprising a representative sample of the Scottish electorate.

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