BBC ‘bans Boris Johnson from appearing on the Andrew Marr Show unless he agrees to be interviewed by Andrew Neil before general election’
- BBC and Tories locked in a row over when the PM will be interviewed and by who
- Boris Johnson had offered to appear on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday
- Broadcaster reportedly said no unless the PM agrees to grilling by Andrew Neil
Boris Johnson has been banned from appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show until he agrees to be interviewed by Andrew Neil before the election, it was claimed this afternoon.
Mr Johnson is embroiled in a row with the broadcaster over whether he will agree to do a sit down interview with Mr Neil.
The Tories are believed to be resisting requests for the PM to be interviewed by Mr Neil after Jeremy Corbyn’s car crash clash with the veteran presenter earlier this week.
The Conservatives had apparently put Mr Johnson forward to be grilled by Mr Marr on Sunday morning.
But the BBC is reportedly digging in, telling the Tories Mr Johnson must first agree to sit down with Mr Neil otherwise he will not be allowed on.
Boris Johnson, pictured at a Tory campaign event in London this morning, is yet to set a date for a sit down interview with Andrew Neil
Mr Neil, pictured during his interview with Jeremy Corbyn earlier this week, is due to interview all of the main party leaders before the election on December 12
A BBC source told the Independent website: ‘The BBC has refused the offer to put the prime minister on the Andrew Marr programme until he agrees a date for Andrew Neil.’
Labour has accused Mr Johnson of ‘running scared’ of Mr Neil due to his continued refusal to commit to a pre-December 12 date for an interview.
It was thought Mr Neil was going to conduct one-on-one interviews with all of the main political party leaders in the run up to polling day.
But ever since Mr Corbyn’s appearance the Tories appeared to have cooled on the idea and have not said for certain either way if Mr Johnson will agree to appear.
Mr Johnson was asked about the row this morning and he said: ‘I’m much happier frankly to talk about my policies, what we’re doing for the people of this country rather than endless debates about media and process.
‘We’ve already talked quite a lot about a Channel 4 debate rather than talking about climate change.’
Mr Johnson snubbed a Channel 4 debate on climate change last night as the broadcaster replaced him on stage with an ice sculpture.
John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, today claimed the BBC was being ‘played’ by Mr Johnson.
He said: ‘The reason he is doing it is because he thinks like, you know, his Bullingdon Club friends, that they’re above the rest of us.
‘That they don’t need to be held to account. They don’t need to treated like the rest of us. And so what he’s doing now is he’s avoiding, he’s running scared.
‘Because he knows that Andrew Neil will take him apart. He’s running scared. But even if he does it now, he’s played you because he’s pushing it later and later beyond the postal vote returns.’
Mr Neil is due to interview Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage next week.
He has already interviewed Mr Corbyn and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.
Mr Corbyn’s appearance dominated the headlines as he repeatedly refused to apologise over his handling of the Labour Party’s anti-Semitism crisis.
He also stumbled over how he would pay for all of Labour’s spending plans.