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More than five million watch the BBC's tory leadership debate

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

BBC's One debate over the Tory leadership was watched by more than five million viewers, the BBC has said.

Our Next Prime Minister drew an average of 5.3 million viewers and peaked at 5.7 million.

According to the corporation, the hour-long broadcast from 8pm was the "best performing programme of the night across all channels".

BBC One's broadcast, hosted by Emily Maitlis, saw five hopefuls in the leadership race, including Boris Johnson and Rory Stewart, battle it out in front of a live studio audience over matters concerning Brexit.

The broadcast drew four million more viewers than Britain's Next PM - The C4 Debate shown on Channel 4 on Sunday night, which averaged 1.3 million viewers and peaked at 1.5 million.

Channel 4's debate included five of the Tory hopefuls, including Dominic Raab who failed to reach the next stage in the voting process earlier on Tuesday, with an empty lectern left for Mr Johnson who did not participate. It was hosted by Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

Sky News had previously announced plans to host a live head-to-head debate with the final two candidates.

It will be hosted by Kay Burley, but the date has not yet been announced.

It has also been reported ITV News will host its own leadership debate, but details are not yet known.

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