Boris Johnson caves to pressure and agrees to TV debate
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Boris Johnson, who has been under criticism for avoiding media scrutiny, has said he will take part in the BBC's TV debate - but not Channel 4's, reportedly due to worries about 'hostile briefings'.
The politician has so far refused media requests for interviews and had not committed to upcoming debates being televised on the BBC and Channel 4.
Channel 4 had threatened to embarrass him with an empty lectern alongside the six other candidates who have committed to taking part.
After his leadership launch conference, he was accused of Trump-like behaviour for only allowing six journalist questions, and for belittling two journalists who asked him challenging questions.
WATCH: Boris Johnson accused of 'Trumpian tactics' as he kicks off leadership bidHe had said he was "delighted" to hear the boos that his supporters gave Sky News' political editor, Beth Rigby, for her question referring to past comments about Muslim women.
But he was reminded of the importance of TV debates by his own words, from a ten-month-old interview he gave Rigby.
WATCH: Boris Johnson haunted by his own words on why leadership debates are 'essential'Now the runaway favourite for Conservative Party leadership has told BBC Radio 4's World At One that he will participate in the BBC TV debate.
You may also want to watch:
"My own observation is that in the past when you've had loads of candidates, it can be slightly cacophonous and I think the public have had quite a lot of blue on blue action frankly over the last three years," he said.
"We don't necessarily need a lot more of that and so what I think the best solution would be would be to have a debate on what we all have to offer the country."
- 1 Nigel Farage loses nearly 50,000 followers after Twitter suspends QAnon accounts
- 2 Fifteen ways to fix Britain
- 3 Michel Barnier tells UK to be 'very careful' in Brexit diplomatic status row
- 4 This chumocracy is costing our country
- 5 Bob Geldof takes swipe at No 10 saying 'lying is second nature' to them
- 6 Independent SAGE adviser gives scathing assessment of Priti Patel's £800 Covid fines
- 7 George Osborne hopes for Brexit dividend
- 8 Holyrood in talks with EU to extend Erasmus scheme to Scottish students
- 9 Jacob Rees-Mogg says it's 'all the EU's fault' musicians can't tour Europe
- 10 Tory minister admits UK rejected EU's music visa offer in order to 'take back control' of borders
But he won't be taking part in the Channel 4 debate, as his campaign team was concerned about "hostile briefings" made by the Channel 4 team, according to the FT's Sebastian Payne.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.