Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson to go head-to-head for second time

The pair debated each other on ITV last month

Friday, December 6, 2019

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will take part in their second televised head-to-head debate of the election campaign tonight.

The hour-long programme hosted by Nick Robinson will be broadcast on BBC One, beginning at 8.30pm.

It is the last scheduled meeting between the two party leaders before the general election on December 12.

When Mr Johnson and the Labour leader faced each other on an ITV leaders' debate last month, some 6.7 million people tuned in.

The debate comes after the Prime Minister was berated by broadcaster Andrew Neil for refusing to do an interview on his BBC show.

Mr Neil said that if the Prime Minister is expected to face the likes of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin then he should be able to sit down for a half-hour interview with him.

The broadcaster said: "The Prime Minister of our nation will, at times, have to stand up to President Trump, President Putin, President Xi of China.

"So it was surely not expecting too much that he spend half an hour standing up to me."

Mr Johnson's avoidance of a grilling from Mr Neil has led to allegations that he is "running scared" from scrutiny.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson called his behaviour "cowardly", 

And Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery added: "Boris Johnson thinks he's born to rule and doesn't have to face scrutiny.

"He's running scared because every time he is confronted with the impact of nine years of austerity, the cost of living crisis and his plans to sell out our NHS, the more he is exposed."

Meanwhile, the Labour Party has complained to the BBC's director general, accusing the broadcaster of "slanted and biased" election coverage.

In a letter, Labour's co-campaign coordinator Andrew Gwynne raised concern about Mr Johnson's "failure" to be interviewed by Neil.

Mr Gwynne said the party agreed to Mr Corbyn's interview with Neil based on the "clear understanding" that Mr Johnson had agreed the same terms.

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