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Sky News to broadcast London Mayoral debate

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Boris Johnson at the Westfield Stratford City opening

© Rex Features

Sky News has confirmed plans to broadcast live coverage of the London Mayoral Debate next month, as Boris Johnson, Ken Livingstone and Brian Paddick make their case to residents of the English capital.

Titled the London Debate and hosted by Sky News presenter Anna Botting, the one-hour programme will be broadcast live at 8pm on April 19 from Heron Tower in the City.

The three major party candidates - Tory incumbent Boris Johnson; former Mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone; and Lib Dem hopeful and ex-I'm a Celebrity participant Brian Paddick - will appear in front of an audience of 250 Londoners.

Sky News said that the debate would have a "town hall style set up", involving the three candidates giving opening and closing comments, as well as answering questions from the audience and viewers at home.

Ken Livingstone
It will be followed by an hour-long review and analysis programme, featuring other Mayoral candidates, eminent Londoners and high profile journalists debating the performances.

"This will be an exciting debate where the audience will have the chance to ask the candidates about the issues affecting them personally as London residents," said Chris Birkett, the executive editor of Sky News.

"It will be a high profile opportunity for the candidates to convince the public why they should occupy City Hall for the next four years. As we know, live debates can often see the strongest of performers falter, meaning this debate will play a major part in their campaigns."

London residents over the age of 18 can apply for a space at the event by visiting the Sky News website. They can also submit questions for the candidates via the Sky News Facebook page or the #skylondondebate Twitter hashtag.

The London Mayoral Election will go ahead on May 3.

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