“I’m perfectly happy to be interviewed by any interviewer called Andrew from the BBC”

Boris Johnson interview, The Andrew Marr Show

December 1, 2019

Claim

The prime minister was responding to Andrew Marr asking whether he would be interviewed by Andrew Neil, as the other main party leaders were. 

Facts

After Jeremy Corbyn was interviewed by Neil on 26 November, the BBC confirmed on Twitter it was in “ongoing discussions” with Johnson’s team but had not “been able to fix a date” for an interview with the prime minister. 

All the other leaders have either been interviewed by Neil or set a date for an interview to take place. 

Many felt that the BBC should only have agreed to Johnson appearing on The Andrew Marr Show if he would also confirm an interview with Neil. No such agreement was reached. The BBC explained its reason in another statement: “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 primetime Andrew Neil interview as other leaders have done.”

On 3 December, it was announced that Johnson had agreed to an interview on This Morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield (neither of whom answers to the name of Andrew) but had still not managed to set a date for an interview with Neil. 

Verdict

If Johnson were indeed “perfectly happy to be interviewed by any interviewer called Andrew from the BBC” he would by now have been interviewed by Neil or made an inescapable commitment to do this before Election Day. Neil and the BBC would have met him at any time and venue. Johnson has avoided this. Barring a last minute change of mind, the casual flippancy of his reply can only be interpreted as a mask for another direct lie. 

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