Boris Johnson confirms he is rejecting Andrew Neil interview

Etchingham PM

Etchingham PM

The BBC drew criticism last week after it aired Jeremy Corbyn's interview, viewed as a "car crash" TV appearance, before Mr Johnson had confirmed he would face Mr Neil.

Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson said: 'Boris Johnson must stop ducking scrutiny.

"I am writing to raise the Labour Party's serious concerns over the BBC's coverage of the General Election campaign, which we believe has repeatedly shown bias in its reporting of the Labour Party and its leadership, and demonstrated a worrying failure to meet the BBC's obligations to fairness and impartiality".

Mr Farage told Neil: "One of them is a sister of a Cabinet minister, another one has a boyfriend working for that Cabinet minister, fact, and another one is a personal friend of Boris Johnson's".

Tory chiefs have previously insisted that they are "in discussions" with the BBC about scheduling an interview with Mr Neil.

The saga over Johnson's refusal to do the Neil interview has caused internal chaos at the BBC, with Labour furiously insisting it was operating under the belief that the Conservatives had agreed to take part before it allowed Corbyn to appear.

He was similarly tough on Jo Swinson, Nigel Farage and Nicola Sturgeon - but Mr Johnson appears to have ducked the chance to have his policies and record put under the microscope.

Neil said leaders' interviews had been a key part of the BBC's prime-time election coverage for decades, adding: "We do them on your behalf to scrutinise and hold to account those who would govern us".

Andrew Neil has torn into Boris Johnson for refusing to commit to an interview on his BBC show.

"How can we expect Johnson to stand up to Trump or Putin if he won't even agree to a half-hour interview with Andrew Neil?".

Mr Neil said he wanted to probe Mr Johnson's claim that the Tories would deliver 50,000 more nurses, even though that number includes almost 20,000 who already work for the NHS.

'It is, of course, relevant to what he is promising us all now.

"He promises 40 new hospitals".

It's billed as the last scheduled debate between the two leaders before the country goes to the polls in six days.

"We did spend five years in a coalition government where clearly we didn't win every battle against the Conservatives". When he uses a cash figure of an extra £34bn. After inflation the additional money promised amounts to £20bn. But the prime minister of our nation will have to stand up at times to President Trump, President Putin, President Xi of China. But he vowed to the DUP, his unionist allies in Northern Ireland, that there would never be a border down the Irish Sea.

"That is as important to the DUP as the NHS is to the rest of us". We would want to see evidence of that, and we would want to know why an opponent of austerity would bake so much of it into their future spending plans.

The Conservative leader has denied claims he is avoiding scrutiny.

'He's running scared because every time he is confronted with the impact of nine years of austerity, the cost of living crisis and his plans to sell out our NHS, the more he is exposed'.

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