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Johnson refuses to commit to Andrew Neil interview on BBC

The Prime Minister insisted he had ‘barely stopped being interviewed’ since calling the General Election.

Andrew Neil, left, and Boris Johnson (Nick Ansel/Tolga Akmen/PA)
Andrew Neil, left, and Boris Johnson (Nick Ansel/Tolga Akmen/PA)

By Harriet Line, PA Deputy Political Editor

Boris Johnson has refused to commit to an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Neil despite Jeremy Corbyn being grilled by the veteran journalist earlier this week.

The Prime Minister insisted he had “barely stopped being interviewed” since calling the General Election and said that he would continue to submit to “all kinds of inquisitions and interrogations” until polling day.

In an interview with the PA news agency, Mr Johnson was asked repeatedly whether he would be interviewed by Mr Neil.

He replied: “Here I am being interviewed by you, I don’t think I have barely stopped being interviewed by people since the election began and will continue to submit to all kinds of inquisitions and interrogations until polling day.”

Pressed again, Mr Johnson said: “I’m in discussion with all sorts of people about all sorts of interviews and look forward to doing many, many more.”

Asked once more, he replied: “I’m going to do many, many interviews over the course of the next few days and I’m sure that people are having all sorts of conversations right now about who I’m going to be talking to when and where and I look forward to it very much.”

A Tory source said the PM had been “offered” as a guest on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, though insisted it was not instead of being quizzed by Mr Neil.

Labour leader Mr Corbyn faced a brutal questioning from Mr Neil on Tuesday on allegations of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, in which he refused four times to apologise to the Jewish community.

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Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn was grilled by Andrew Neil (Jeff Overs/BBC)

Neither Mr Johnson nor Mr Corbyn will attend the BBC’s seven-way election debate on Friday, the corporation said, with Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak replacing Mr Johnson, and shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey subbing in for Mr Corbyn.

Liberal Democrat leader Ms Swinson will be in the hot seat to face a televised half-hour grilling from Mr Neil on Wednesday December 4, with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage taking his turn on Thursday December 5.

These follow the BBC’s half-hour interviews with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Mr Corbyn earlier this week, with three million people tuning in on Tuesday night to see the Labour leader face questions.

PA

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