Published: Sun, December 08, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Boris Johnson faces flak for ducking TV grilling

Boris Johnson faces flak for ducking TV grilling

Barring some unforeseen disaster in the final week - say, Boris Johnson getting trapped in a lift for six hours with Andrew Neil, Eddie Mair, James O'Brien and a Channel 4 News camera crew - the Tories were probably home and dry. "Our prime minister must be able to cope with Presidents Trump, Putin and Xi".

Andrew Neil has laid down the gauntlet to Boris Johnson by hard him to the BBC interview he has to date refused to decide to, saying it was "a query of belief" for the prime minister.

All of the other major parties' leaders have turned up for interviews, and anger was sparked in the Labour ranks when it emerged Mr Johnson had not been booked in yet.

Now, bucking all precedent, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has canceled his appointment in the dentist chair with Neil.

"It is not too late", Neil said in a monologue to the audience.

Mr Farage told Neil: "One of them is a sister of a Cabinet minister, another one has a boyfriend working for that Cabinet minister, fact, and another one is a personal friend of Boris Johnson's".

One reason: On Friday, pollster YouGov published a poll that found that 67 percent of the British public said that Johnson should do the interview; 13 percent said he shouldn't.

Neil said leaders' interviews had been a key part of the BBC's prime-time election coverage for decades, adding: "We do them on your behalf to scrutinise and hold to account those who would govern us".

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"The ITV News team making the Boris Johnson Tonight film made the original bid for the Prime Minister when the election was called", an ITV spokesman said.

A senior Conservative source today said: "The public are fed up with interviews that are all about the interviewer and endless interruptions. But he vowed to the DUP, his Unionist allies in Northern Ireland, that there would never be a border down the Irish Sea", Neil said.

Neil added: "There's no law, no Supreme Court ruling that can force Mr. Johnson to participate in a BBC leaders' interview". We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the United Kingdom national press.

ITV talked about they contacted Mr Johnson's press crew on "repeated times" with times and dates, but that his crew confirmed on Thursday that he would possibly perchance perchance now not be participating. Ian Lavery, the Labour social gathering chair, mentioned: "Boris Johnson thinks he's born to rule and doesn't need to face scrutiny".

"He's running scared because every time he is confronted with the impact of nine years of austerity, the cost of living crisis and his plans to sell out our NHS, the more he is exposed".

Mr Gwynne said the party agreed to Mr Corbyn's interview with Neil based on the "clear understanding" that Mr Johnson had agreed the same terms.

Ofcom not too long ago rejected a Conservative criticism over Channel four's use of an ice sculpture to face in for Mr Johnson through the debate on local weather change.

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