Andrew Neil challenges Johnson to commit to interview: ‘It is not too late’


And that concludes our fourth leader’s
interview for the general election of 2019. There is, of course, still one to be done.
Boris Johnson, the prime minister. We have been asking him for weeks now
to give us a date, a time, a venue. As of now, none has been forthcoming. No broadcaster can compel a politician
to be interviewed, but leader’s interviews have been a key part of the BBC primetime
election coverage for decades. We do them on your behalf to scrutinise
and hold to account those who would govern us. That is democracy. We’ve always proceeded in good faith that
the leaders would participate in every election. They have, all of them, until this one.
It is not too late. We have an interview prepared, oven ready,
as Mr Johnson likes to say. The theme running through our questions
is trust and why so many times in his career in politics and journalism, critics and sometimes even those
close to him have deemed him to be untrustworthy. There is no law, no Supreme Court ruling that
can force Mr Johnson to participate in a BBC leader’s interview. But the prime minister of our nation will
at times have to stand up to president Trump, president Putin, president Xi of China. So it was surely not expecting too much
that you spent half an hour standing up to me.

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