Channel 4 has fanned rumours that Boris Johnson will be replaced by a melting ice sculpture of himself if he turns down their televised climate change debate on Thursday.
The broadcaster did not deny suggestions on social media that the Prime Minister could be replaced by an icy incarnation of his likeness as opposed to a traditional empty chair.
Channel 4 is due to broadcast the first TV election debate on climate change at 7pm but Mr Johnson is not expected to take part.
A spokeswoman for Channel 4 News said: “The clock is ticking. The ice caps are melting. Our invitation to the Prime Minister remains open until 7pm tonight.”
A rumour about whether a frozen sculpture of Boris Johnson, which would slowly melt as the debate goes on, was tweeted out by the Daily Mail’s political editor Jason Groves today.
Rumour that Channel Four has commissioned an ice sculpture of Boris Johnson to melt during tonight's televised debate on climate change. And yet he still doesn't want to go on...— Jason Groves (@JasonGroves1) November 28, 2019
It is unclear whether Channel 4’s tongue-in-cheek response is an admission the stunt will go ahead or an attempt to whip up more interest in the debate.
There is no word as to whether Mr Farage would be replaced by an ice sculpture too.
We won’t be taking part in Channel 4’s special programme on Thursday night.— The Brexit Party (@brexitparty_uk) November 26, 2019
Read more below. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/bMoDkQMMmx
Party leaders Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon and Jo Swinson have confirmed their attendance while Green leader Sian Berry and Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price will also appear.
Boris Johnson is also at the centre of criticism aimed at the BBC over the leader debates being held by Andrew Neil.
But a Labour MP attacked the BBC’s choice to put out the interviews before it had sorted one with the Prime Minister.
Yesterday evening, Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery said yesterday evening: “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.”