'Get out of your bunker' - Calls for Boris Johnson to face public scrutiny in leadership race

PUBLISHED: 13:51 11 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:06 11 June 2019

Boris Johnson leaves his home in London. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Boris Johnson leaves his home in London. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

The favourite to replace Theresa May as prime minister has been accused of avoiding scrutiny by hiding away from the Tory leadership contest.

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Rivals have turned on Johnson for making a series of announcements on tax cuts and his plans for Brexit through newspapers, and for avoiding the broadcast media.

Fellow leadership contender Matt Hancock said any MP bidding to be prime minister should be prepared to face public scrutiny.

He told Radio 4's Today programme: "I certainly think that everybody who puts their name forward to be prime minister should be open to scrutiny, should be accountable, should come on the Today programme and on other broadcast programmes.

"I think everybody should participate in the proposed TV debates and I think we have got to ask the question 'Why not?"'

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He said the candidates should "come and be scrutinised because that is the best way to ensure that we get the best next prime minister".

Another candidate, Mark Harper, said: "If you've got nothing to hide, you won't mind answering questions."

The comments follow an editorial in the Daily Mail that called for Johnson to leave his bunker.

"Usually he positively craves media attention … Yet for weeks now he has been stuck in his trench, dribbling out vague policy ideas," the newspaper wrote.

The former foreign secretary last week managed to get a court summons quashed which would have held the Vote Leave chair accountable for claims made during the EU referendum campaign.

James Ball, who was attempting to take the Tory MP to court, claimed: "We have just given the green light for every politician to lie to us about our money forever. That is a terrifying idea."

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