Boris Johnson has confirmed that he will not put himself forward for an interview with Andrew Neil.
The ruthless broadcaster sent out a final appeal to the Prime Minister last night, saying the BBC has “been asking him for weeks now to give us a date, a time, a venue”.
But his plea seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
A senior Conservative source today said: “The public are fed up with interviews that are all about the interviewer and endless interruptions.
“The format is tired and broken and needs to change if it is to start engaging and informing the public again.
Instead of facing Neil… “The PM will focus on talking to voters about their priorities including investing in our NHS and helping with the cost of living.”
The Tories say Johnson has done 117 interviews during the campaign, including one with Andrew Marr and two head-to-heads with Corbyn.
The public is not fed up of interviews. It’s fed up of being lied to. Boris Johnson ducking out of the leaders’ interviews is truly pathetic. He is breaking the public’s trust yet again. https://t.co/3xF6BXxg7x— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) December 6, 2019
The announcement comes as the Labour Party has complained to the BBC’s director general for “slanted and biased” election coverage.
In a letter to Tony Hall, the party claims to have examples of where Labour’s leadership and policies have faced “more negative treatment” and “harsher scrutiny” by the BBC compared to those of the Conservative Party.
Labour’s co-campaign coordinator Andrew Gwynne also raised concern about Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “failure” to be interviewed by BBC’s Andrew Neil.
Mr Gwynne said the party agreed to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s interview with Mr Neil based on the “clear understanding” that Mr Johnson had agreed the same terms.
“Instead, the BBC allowed the Conservative leader to pick and choose a platform through which he believed he could present himself more favourably and without the same degree of accountability,” Mr Gwynne claimed in the letter.
In response to the letter, a BBC spokesman said in a statement: “The BBC will continue to make its own independent editorial decisions, and is committed to reporting the election campaign fairly, impartially and without fear or favour.”