Political heavyweight Andrew Neil has been interviewing all the party leaders in advance of the general election. Despite this, Boris Johnson has been squirming away from potential scrutiny and has not confirmed a date to sit down with the interviewer.
This is the story of Johnson’s elaborate efforts to avoid Andrew Neil.
Last week, after Jeremy Corbyn was comprehensively skewererd by the BBC presenter, Conservative bosses said they were “in discussions” with the BBC about a Johnson-Neil clash, but that an interview hadn’t been confirmed. Johnson was vague on the matter and said “I will have all sort of interviews with all sorts of people”.
The Labour Party accused him of “running scared” and “playing the BBC”.
On Friday, the BBC said it would not allow Johnson to appear on its politics programmes until he had agreed a time to be interviewed with Neil. However, after the London Bridge attack occurred, the broadcaster changed its mind on the basis that the country should hear from its Prime Minister during a crisis.
On Sunday, Johnson appeared on The Andrew Marr Show. There, he confirmed he was “perfectly happy to be interviewed by any interviewer called Andrew from the BBC” but, again, did not confirm a date.
Since then, there’s been very little movement. No rumours of an imminent showdown. No changes to the BBC schedule.
Boris Johnson thinks he can keep procrastinating, and that people will not notice. After all, the general election is a mere nine days away. We must all keep up the pressure to ensure he faces the same scrutiny as everybody else.