Anger grows over BBC 'interview' with Boris Johnson

Will Taylor
News Reporter
Boris Johnson has not confirmed an interview slot with the BBC yet. (PA Images)

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling on the BBC to hold an interview with Boris Johnson as soon as possible.

Mr Johnson is the only major party leader yet to confirm he will face Andrew Neil, with the tough interviewer’s grillings of Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon having already been broadcast.

Both were taken to task during half hour segments this week, with the Labour leader’s in particular being widely described as a “car crash” on social media.

Now, more than 3,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org calling on the BBC to broadcast an Andrew Neil interview with Mr Johnson.

The petition says the move to show Mr Corbyn’s interview before sorting one with Mr Johnson “has shocked and horrified members of the viewing public who fund the BBC through our licence fee”.

“We are now in the section of the campaign where postal votes are being cast, which means equality of scrutiny is not just important, but essential.

“The longer it takes for Boris Johnson to agree to an interview, the less impact it will have on votes.”

The petition, which demands an interview “within the next day or so”, cannot compel the BBC or Mr Johnson to do anything.

But it is a measure of some people’s concerns Mr Johnson may dodge a potentially damaging TV interview altogether.

Hosting the BBC’s Politics Live show today, Mr Neil said he is “ready any time, anywhere, any place, so there can be no problems with scheduling”.

Jeremy Corbyn faced a tough interview from the BBC's Andrew Neil.

The BBC said yesterday the corporation is “still talking to Boris Johnson’s team about confirming a date”.

Yesterday evening, Labour’s chairman Ian Lavery 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.”

There are rumours, which have not been outright denied by Channel 4, that Mr Johnson will be replaced by a melting ice sculpture of himself at tonight’s climate change debate on Channel 4.

The Tory leader is expected to skip the debate, along with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.

The Conservatives are yet to reply to Yahoo News UK’s request for a comment.

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