General election 2019: PM to appear on Marr amid BBC interview row

Boris JohnsonImage copyright Getty Images

Boris Johnson will be interviewed on Sunday’s Andrew Marr Show as it is in “the public interest” following the London Bridge attack, the BBC says.

It had been reported that the BBC had told the PM he would not be allowed on Sunday’s show unless he also agreed to be interviewed by Andrew Neil.

Mr Johnson has so far refused to commit to a one-to-one with Mr Neil – who has already grilled other party leaders.

The BBC said its first priority “must be its audience”.

“In the wake of a major terrorist incident, we believe it is now in the public interest that the prime minister should be interviewed on our flagship Sunday political programme.

“All parties’ election policy proposals must – and will – face detailed scrutiny from us and we continue to urge Boris Johnson to take part in the prime-time Andrew Neil interview as other leaders have done.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon took part in 30-minute interviews with Mr Neil earlier this week.

The BBC’s interview with Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson is set to air on 4 December. Another, with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, will be shown on 5 December.

The corporation’s decision to schedule the interview with Marr has been criticised by Labour.

Former culture secretary Ben Bradshaw tweeted that it was a “shameful and abject surrender” by BBC management.

Ilford North Labour candidate Wes Streeting posted that he loved the BBC but this decision was “wrong”, adding: “The BBC have been played by the Tory leader and shouldn’t dance to his tune.”

On Friday, shadow chancellor John McDonnell accused Mr Johnson of “running scared”, saying it was a “matter of honour” that he subjected himself to the fullest possible questioning.

The PM – who was interviewed by Mr Neil during the Conservative leadership election in July – told LBC the public was more interested in his vision and plans for the country rather than which programmes he appeared on.

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