John McDonnell: BBC has been ‘played’ by Boris Johnson over Andrew Neil row

Posted On: 
29th November 2019

John McDonnell has launched a bitter attack on the BBC as Boris Johnson continues to dodge being interviewed by Andrew Neil.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the corporation had been “played” by the Prime Minister
Credit: 
BBC

The furious Shadow Chancellor said the corporation had been “played” by the Prime Minister and demanded they fight back.

Mr McDonnell’s angry outburst came after Mr Johnson refused to say whether he would follow Jeremy Corbyn and subject himself to a half-hour grilling by Mr Neil.

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Tory bosses have said they are “in discussions” with the BBC, but no agreement has been reached.

Appearing on BBC One’s breakfast show on Friday, Mr McDonnell went on the attack as he accused the PM of trying to avoid being interviewed until after postal voting in the election has begun.

Jabbing his finger at the camera, he said: “You need to start looking at yourselves to what you should be doing to hold [Boris Johnson] to account.

“He's making sure there isn't a proper debate. He's playing you. He's delaying this beyond the postal vote stage."

Earlier, he had told Radio Four’s Today programme: “This is a matter of honour. Why is Boris Johnson doing this? He's playing the BBC.

“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."

The Shadow Chancellor’s remarks appeared to be an a acknowledgment that Mr Corbyn had endured a torrid time during his interview earlier this week.

Speaking on a campaign visit on Thursday, Mr Johnson repeatedly refused to say whether he would sit down with Mr Neil.

He said: “I will have all sorts of interviews with all sorts of people...I’m sure active discussions are taking place.

“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.”