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The 60 questions Boris Johnson must answer before polling day

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits West Cornwall Community Hospital, in Penzance, Cornwall, whilst on the General Election campaign trail. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday November 27, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The Labour Party has compiled a list of 60 questions it says Boris Johnson must answer.

The party has accused the prime minister of “hiding from scrutiny” after he snubbed the Channel 4 leaders’ debate on climate change and is yet to sign up to an interview with Andrew Neil.

The questions are on a wide range of issues such as racism, sexism, the NHS, Brexit, his party’s record, and his General Election campaign, including: “Are you scared of Andrew Neil?”

In an interview with the PA news agency, the PM refused to commit to an interview with the BBC’s Mr Neil, despite Jeremy Corbyn being grilled by the veteran journalist earlier this week.

Johnson said he would submit to “all kinds of inquisitions and interrogations” until polling day on December 12 but, despite being repeatedly asked, refused to say whether he would be interviewed by Neil.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell accused the prime minister of “running scared” of being interviewed by Neil.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “The reason he is doing it is because he thinks, like you know his Bullingdon Club friends, that they’re above the rest of us.

“That they don’t need to be held to account. They don’t need to treated like the rest of us. And so what he’s doing now is he’s avoiding, he’s running scared.

“Because he knows that Andrew Neil will take him apart. He’s running scared. But even if he does it now, he’s played you because he pushing it later and later beyond the postal vote returns.”

The full questions are below.

60 Questions Boris Johnson must answer

On his sexism:

1. Do you still think that the way to deal with advice from a female colleague is to “just pat her on the bottom and send her on her way”?

2. Do you still think that children of single mothers are ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate?

3. Do you still think unmarried women who have children should be pushed into “destitution on a Victorian scale”?

4. Do you still think a man should “take control of his woman”?

5. Why have you never voted in favour of protecting women’s reproductive rights?

6. Isn’t your criticism of single mothers and what you appallingly describe as “illegitimate” children hypocritical?

On his racism:

7. Why won’t you apologise for describing black people as “piccanninies” with “watermelon smiles”?

8. Do you feel any shame for the 375% rise in Islamophobic hate crime linked to the article you wrote that called Muslim women “bank robbers” and “letterboxes”?

9. Why as editor of the Spectator did you approve an article which argued that black people have lower IQs and an article in which the author boasted of being “an antisemite”?

10. Why won’t you order an independent inquiry specifically into Islamophobia in the Conservative party?

11. Will you apologise for saying young people had “an almost Nigerian interest in money”?

12. Do you regret saying that Barack Obama had an “ancestral dislike of the British Empire”?

On his other offensive comments:

13. Do you still call gay people “tank-topped bumboys”?

14. Do you still think equal marriage is similar to “marrying a dog”?

15. Will you apologise for calling working class men “drunk, criminal, aimless, feckless and hopeless”?

16. Do you still consider the investigation of historical child abuse by the police to be “spaffing money up the wall”?

17. Do you regret saying that the Libyan city of Sirte had a bright future as soon as they “clear the dead bodies away”?

18. In 2011, when you were being briefed about the cost of inquests into the 7/7 bombings, did you say “f*** the families”?

On his ministers:

19. Where is Jacob Rees-Mogg?

20. Do you agree with Jacob Rees-Mogg’s comments that victims of the Grenfell Tower fire lacked “common sense”?

21. Why haven’t you sacked Jacob Rees-Mogg?

22. Why have you appointed an Education Secretary who was sacked for leaking from a National Security Council meeting?

23. Why have you allowed Alun Cairns to stand as a Conservative Party candidate when he was forced to resign for lying about his knowledge of an allegation that a Conservative candidate had sabotaged a rape trial?

24. Was Michael Gove right when he said you can’t build a team and can’t provide leadership or unity?

On the NHS:

25. Why did you pull back from legislating to protect the NHS from a US trade deal?

26. Why did you say in the ITV leaders’ debate that allegations of the NHS being on the table in secret talks with the USA were “an absolute invention” and “completely untrue” when official government documents show it is being discussed?

27. If the NHS isn’t being privatised why are private firms given £9.2 billion of the NHS budget?

28. Why did you lie in your party’s manifesto about how many extra nurses you are promising to recruit?

29. Why does the Conservative manifesto offer no extra money for social care when the system is in crisis?

30. Will you apologise to the grandmother who waited three hours on the floor for an ambulance last week?

On Jennifer Arcuri:

31. Jennifer Arcuri described you as “a really good friend”. Why did you not declare an interest when she was granted public money?

32. Did your office intervene to give Jennifer Arcuri a place on trade missions to Tel Aviv and New York after she was initially told she did not meet the criteria?

33. Did you write Jennifer Arcuri a letter of recommendation to become CEO of Tech City?

34. Do you think it is fair that Jennifer Arcuri is being held to account for allegations of corrupt behaviour by yourself?

On his record:

35. Have you only lied to the Queen once?

36. When was the last time you spoke to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband and what are you personally doing to help secure her release?

37. Do you still support fox hunting?

38. Do you still plan on lying in front of a bulldozer to prevent Heathrow expansion or will you spend another £20,000 of taxpayers’ money to run away from a vote on it?

39. Why do you think you have been sacked from so many jobs?

40. Do you regret wasting £300,000 of taxpayers’ money on illegal water cannons?

On climate and the environment:

41. Do you still think global warming is a “primitive fear without foundation”?

42. Why did you claim you were going to ban fracking when you are actually pausing it temporarily and still considering applications?

On his campaign:

43. Are you scared of Andrew Neil?

44. Why did you not show up to Channel 4’s climate crisis debate last night?

45. If the BBC empty chair you for bottling an Andrew Neil interview will you review its remit as well?

46. Why did it take so long for you to visit communities in Yorkshire and the Midlands who were affected by flooding, and what does count as a national emergency?

47. Will you suspend the Conservative candidate in Shropshire who yesterday said that his Sikh opponent was “talking through his turban” and strip him of his honour?

48. Why won’t you publish the report into Russian interference in British democracy?

49. Do you support a free and fair press apart from Channel 4 and the Daily Mirror?

On Brexit:

50. Why does Ann Widdecombe believe she was offered a place on the Brexit negotiating team in return for the Brexit Party standing aside in the election?

51. Do you still disagree with your Brexit Secretary that Northern Irish businesses will need to submit customs declaration forms to export over the Irish Sea?

52. Will you tell President Trump next week that you will never change our food safety rules to allow in US chlorine chickens in a post-Brexit trade deal?

53. Why did you tell the DUP that you would never support any deal that created a regulatory border down the Irish sea and then negotiate one that did just that?

54. Why did you vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal that you said “wrapped a suicide vest” around the British constitution and “handed the detonator” to Brussels?

On the Conservatives’ record:

55. Does knowing that 126,000 children are growing up in temporary accommodation make it difficult to sleep at night?

56. Do you regret supporting police cuts when violent crime has more than doubled under the Conservatives?

57. Why have you continued to sell arms to Saudi Arabia from the UK despite it being ruled unlawful by the courts?

58. Why are you standing on a manifesto that an independent think tank said would risk child poverty rising to a record 60-year high?

59. How can anyone trust a Conservative government when the last one handed £14 million to a ferry firm with no ferries?

60. Are you embarrassed that the Conservative party failed to build a single one of the 200,000 starter homes it promised in 2015?

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