Sources for Boris Johnson say he won’t take part in a BBC interview with Andrew Neil because the public are ‘fed up’ with TV interviews.
A senior Conservative source has claimed people don’t want to see interviews ‘that are all about the interviewer and endless interruptions’.
The prime minister was berated by Mr Neil for refusing to do a leader’s interview with him, despite all other main party leaders taking part.
The source said: ‘The public are fed up with interviews that are all about the interviewer and endless interruptions.
‘The format is broken and needs to change if it is to start engaging and informing the public again.
‘The PM will focus on talking to voters about people’s priorities including investing in our NHS and helping with the cost of living.’
Mr Johnson is said to have taken part in more than 100 interviews during the election campaign.
Empty chairing the PM, Mr Neil last night tore into Mr Johnson and said he is expected to face the likes of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, so ‘we’re surely not expecting too much that he stand up to the likes of me’.
Mr Neil said: ‘Questions of trust. Questions we’d like to put to Mr Johnson so you can hear his replies.
‘But we can’t. Because he won’t sit down with us.’
Mr Johnson will go head-to-head with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in a BBC leaders’ debate tonight.
But the prime minister has refused to participate in ITV’s series of leader interviews with Julie Etchingham.
ITV said they contacted Mr Johnson’s press team on ‘repeated occasions’ with times and dates, but that his team confirmed on Thursday that he will not be taking part.
Editor of Channel 4 News, Ben de Pear, said his programme was also awaiting confirmation from Mr Johnson regarding an interview.
Meanwhile, during an appearance on BBC Radio 5 Live this morning, Michael Gove was pressed on whether the Tory leader would face Andrew Neil or not.
He was asked to ‘give a number’ on a scale of 1-10 of how likely it is Mr Johnson would agree to be interviewed by Mr Neil.
Instead, the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster gave out the direct phone number to Downing Street live on air.
He told listeners to speak to the prime minister’s diary secretary, as ‘they will know what the PM is going to do’.
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