UK Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has accused the country’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson of dragging his feet on an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Neil who earlier sat down with the leaders of the Labour Party and Scottish National Party, Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon, respectively.
“Johnson’s running scared after his disastrous debate performances. But he’s playing the BBC. He’s delaying the interview past the main postal vote period,” McDonnell said, also blaming the BBC for failing to fix “all dates in advance”.
“With doctored film and now this, the BBC is hardly covering itself in glory in this election,” he added.
The Independent cited an unnamed Downing Street source as saying that no interview date had been confirmed and that Johnson’s team are still “in discussions” with the BBC, which confirmed the statement.
Sturgeon, for her part, retweeted the BBC’s remarks by posting an emoji of a chicken.
Earlier, the BBC announced that Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and the Brexit Party’s Nigel Farage would be interviewed on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
The developments come after Johnson rejected an offer to partake in his second planned TV debate with Corbyn, with Channel 4 producer Louisa Compton noting that “after many weeks of intense discussion”, they were unable to secure an agreement from the UK PM’s team.
In late October, the EU formally agreed to extend Britain’s exit process until 31 January 2020, in a move that was followed by the UK Parliament’s House of Commons voting to hold the country’s snap general election on 12 December.