Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss head to Darlington for North East's only hustings

Tory leader hopefuls Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will be questioned by party members in Darlington. Credit: PA

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will be in Darlington for the latest hustings as the race for Prime Minister gains pace.

It is the fifth and only North East event for the two Conservative leader hopefuls and will be held in the town from 7pm until 9pm on Tuesday (9 August).

Topics such as levelling up and cost of living are likely to be put to both candidates.

Here is what you need to know.

What are the hustings?

Hustings are meetings in which candidates address potential voters, answering questions and making speeches in order to gain their vote. 

Twelve hustings are being held around the country to decide who will be the next Conservative party leader and therefore, the next Prime Minister.

Who can attend?

The audience is made up of Conservative party members who will vote for the next party leader.

What will happen at the hustings?

Following the format so far, Conservative party officials will first likely make a speech.

Each of the two candidates is introduced by a prominent supporter before they give their own introductory speeches.

They are interviewed in turn by the host. The Darlington host will be journalist and TalkTV presenter Tom Newton Dunn.

The candidates then answer questions from party members in the audience. This unpredictable section gives the voters a chance to put difficult topics to the candidates.

Ms Truss and Mr Sunak are not likely to be on stage together and will not go head-to-head.

The hustings will be held between 7-9pm and live streamed on the Conservative party website.

Can you watch the hustings?

Yes, you can watch it online here.

What happens next?

There are thought to be around 160,000 Tory voters who will choose their next leader.

The ballot closes on Friday 2 September and the winner will be announced on 5 September.

It is understood the newly elected leader will become the Prime Minister the following day.

The race so far.

Eight candidates received nominations required to take part in the first ballot.

A series of ballots followed which knocked out Jeremy Hunt, Nadhim Zahawi, Suella Braverman, Kemi Badenoch, Tom Tugendhat and Penny Mordaunt.

Mr Sunak and Ms Truss are the final two in the running. They have been hitting the road on the campaign trail.