Boris Johnson refuses to say whether he will take part in Andrew Neil grilling

Posted On: 
29th November 2019

Boris Johnson has refused to say whether he will agree to be interviewed by the BBC’s Andrew Neil during the election campaign.

Boris Johnson has not confirmed he will appear for a 30-minute interview
Credit: 
BBC

Party leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon have already been quizzed by the corporation's most-feared political interrogator.

Lib Dem Jo Swinson and Brexit Party boss Nigel Farage have also confirmed their half-hour slots for next week.

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But the Prime Minister has still not signed up, with Conservative bosses saying they are still "in discussions" with the BBC.

It has also been reported that the Tories have offered to let Mr Johnson be interviewed by Andrew Marr on his programme this Sunday instead. 

Pressed on the matter during a campaign visit on Thirsday, Mr Johnson said: “I will have all sorts of interviews with all sorts of people...I’m sure active discussions are taking place.”

He added: “I don’t want to pre-empt any discussions that may be taking place but I have no doubt that conversations are going on about all sorts of interviews, all sorts of people.”

The PM also said it was “not my job” to decide who he will be interviewed by, but said that he was “very happy to be interviewed by anybody”.

On Labour jibes that he is “running scared” of Andrew Neil, Mr Johnson said: “I’m very happy to submit to all manner of scrutiny, all manner of debates and have done so, and lots of conversations are happening about that matter right now."

The row comes as the Conservatives threatened to revoke Channel 4 News’ licence after the broadcaster replaced him with an ice sculpture for refusing to take part in a leaders' debate on climate change.

Chief Tory spin doctor Lee Cain accused the broadcaster of a "provocative partisan stunt" in a letter to Ofcom.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said Mr Johnson was "playing the BBC".

He said: "He thinks, like his Bullingdon Club friends, that they're above the rest of us, that they don't need to be held to account.

"He's running scared because he knows that Andrew Neil will take him apart. Even if he does it now, he's played you because he's doing it later and later beyond the postal vote returns. You should be as angry as we are."