The BBC has been unable to fix a date with Boris Johnson for his interview with Andrew Neil.
After both Nicola Sturgeon and Jeremy Corbyn received a mauling from the ruthless interrogator, all eyes were on the PM to see if his plans stood up to scrutiny.
But there a signs that he could swerve the interview.
With just weeks left until the general election the broadcaster confirmed today that they had yet been able to confirm a date with Johnson.
That’s in spite of the fact that they had told Labour they had an interview in the bag planned for next week before Corbyn put himself forward last night.
Both Jo Swinson and Nigel Farage have signed up to appear before the interviewer with their shows scheduled in for next Wednesday and Thursday.
Seven-way election debate
As a result of the PM’s elusiveness he will also not attend the BBC’s seven-way election debate on Friday, with Corbyn out of the picture too.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak will replace Mr Johnson, while shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey will sub in for Mr Corbyn.
Responding to the fact there is no date set for Mr Johnson to be grilled by Mr Neil, Ian Lavery, Labour Party chairman, said: “Boris Johnson backed out of a head-to-head debate with Jeremy Corbyn on Sunday, he is refusing to take part in the party leaders’ climate crisis debate tomorrow and now this.
“He’s running scared because every time he is confronted with the impact of nine years of austerity, the cost of living crisis and over his plans to sell out our NHS, the more he is exposed.”
A Tory source said: “Discussions are ongoing.”
Mr Johnson is also set to snub the first ever election leaders’ debate focusing on the climate crisis which will be broadcast on Channel 4 on Thursday November 28.
On the issue of whether a Conservative minister could attend the debate instead of Mr Johnson, a spokeswoman for Channel 4 News said: “Channel 4 News is hosting the world’s first leaders’ debate. Michael Gove is not the party leader. The invitation to Boris Johnson remains open.”
Ali Milani, who is contesting Johnson for his seat in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, also said he can’t get the PM to a local hustings.
Milani tweeted his frustrations following the BBC announcement.
Funny, he won’t debate me either ? https://t.co/QFMq3uDYD1— Ali Milani (@ARMilani_) November 27, 2019
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