Jeremy Corbyn calls for Boris Johnson to honour agreement over Andrew Neil debate

PUBLISHED: 12:09 02 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:15 02 December 2019

Boris Johnson is interviewed by Andrew Neil. Photograph: BBC.

Boris Johnson is interviewed by Andrew Neil. Photograph: BBC.

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Jeremy Corbyn has called on Boris Johnson to honour the ‘agreement’ that all political leaders would appear before Andrew Neil during the general election campaign.

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The Labour leader faced brutal questioning over half-an-hour from the veteran journalist during a challenge accepted by all the leaders from the main parties - except the Tories.

Corbyn called on Johnson to stick to his side of the deal when asked about the debates as he launched Labour's policy to slash rail fares by a third if the party wins the December 12 election.

"I think all of us should be open to questioning in an election campaign and that's what makes a proper democratic debate," Corbyn said outside London's Finsbury Park station.

"There was an agreement on how the broadcasters would handle the debates and the one-to one-interviews, we've stuck to our side of it, I think Mr Johnson should do the same."

Corbyn's interview with Neil was interpreted as being a disastrous performance, with the Labour leader refusing four times to apologise to the Jewish community over anti-Semitism within his party.

There have been widespread calls for Johnson to subject himself to the same level of scrutiny so voters can be equipped with adequate knowledge as they go to the ballot boxes.

Johnson told Andrew Marr on Sunday: "I am perfectly happy to be interviewed by any interviewer called Andrew from the BBC.

"I have done interviews, I did a two hour long phone in, I have done TV debates."

Some interpreted the comments as a signal he could agree to the interview, but others said the prime minister was dodging the question.

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