Prime Minister Boris Johnson was ambushed by Good Morning Britain reporter Jonathan Swain in Leeds this Wednesday and opted to hide in a fridge rather than respond to his question regarding an interview.
Our @SwainITV has located Boris Johnson, who's doing a milk round this morning, to see if the PM will finally speak to @piersmorgan and @susannareid100.— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) December 11, 2019
It looks promising. Watch this space... pic.twitter.com/ndNJ67tmco
In a video clip of the exchange, shown on ITV, Swain asks the PM who had joined an early morning milk round in Yorkshire as part of his last day of election campaigning, if he would come on the programme and "deliver on your promise to talk to Piers and Susanna."
As Johnson replies "I'll be with you in a second", he then proceeds to walk away, as host Piers Morgan, watching the incident live, exclaims "he's gone into the fridge."
A camera crew then follows Johnson as he disappears behind stacks of milk crates and into the large fridge at the delivery depot.
An earlier clip of the segment showed the prime minister’s aide seemingly mouth "oh for f***'s sake" when he was approached by the same reporter asking if Johnson would agree to go on the ITV show, drawing a shocked response from Piers Morgan and co-host Susanna Reid.
Wow!! Boris Johnson Press Secretary tells Good Morning Britain Piers and Susanna to Fuck Off and then incredibly Johnson then hides in a fridge 😱— ARTIST TAXI DRIVER (@chunkymark) December 11, 2019
"I'm actually being pushed and shoved at the moment as well by one of the minders," Swain is seen as saying, as he asks the aide, named on the show as press secretary Robert Oxley, to "tone your language down."
The ITV show's host Piers Morgan tweeted following the incident:
"Cowardice is never a good look."
Following the incident, Piers issued a direct appeal to Johnson, saying:
"I've known you for 25 years. What's the matter with you? You're a good bloke normally, you have no problem with interviews, you bluster your way through them. Why would you rather look like a bottle job?"
Piers then addressed reporter Jonathan Swain:
“I’d like to know what Mr Oxley, who’s the press secretary, what the hell he thinks he’s doing talking to you in that way and being that physically aggressive with you? That’s not the behaviour we expect from a press secretary whose salary by the way will be paid ultimately by we the taxpayer. It’s outrageous.”
Tory sources responded by saying Oxley was not specifically swearing at the reporter and was expressing general frustration.
It is also believed, according to the Mirror, that the Tory party is to make a formal complaint about Good Morning Britain's behaviour.
Johnson ‘Ducking’ Interviews
Boris Johnson has been accused of dodging interviews with top broadcasters. Last week, the BBC’s Andrew Neil delivered a dramatic "empty chair" monologue to camera, tearing through a list of questions he wanted to ask Johnson.
The Conservative leader turned down an offer to face Neil, despite the fact that Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and Nigel Farage of the Brexit Party had all been grilled by the BBC journalist.
UK party leaders are frantically trying to cover as much ground as possible in the last 24 hours of campaigning as polls show the election race tightening.
Both Johnson and Corbyn are making five stops each on their final pre-election tours around the UK.
Boris Johnson was delivering milk in the marginal seat of Pudsey, West Yorkshire in the morning before travelling across the country from Yorkshire to the Midlands, Wales and finally, London, vowing to “Get Brexit Done”.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn began his day in Scotland before heading to the north-east of England to target Leave-voting Labour seats.
On Brexit, Corbyn has promised to negotiate a new deal with Brussels within three months of being elected and put it to another referendum within six months, saying it is time for people to vote for “a Labour government that will be on your side; a Labour government that will save our NHS.”
Meanwhile, according to a YouGov poll published on Tuesday night, although the Conservatives remain at 43 per cent with Labour on 34 per cent. YouGov says the poll points to a 28-seat Conservative majority but the margin of error means that a hung parliament remains a possibility.
The results of the final YouGov MRP model for #GE2019:— YouGov (@YouGov) December 10, 2019
Con – 339 seats / 43% vote share
Lab – 231 / 34%
SNP – 41 / 3%
LD – 15 / 12%
Plaid – 4 / 1%
Green – 1 / 3%
Brexit Party – 0 / 3%
Conservative majority of 28https://t.co/IAyXTc89vH pic.twitter.com/yk3dNAhN0p