Tory leadership race: Sky set to cancel Johnson-Hunt debate – BBC News

Tory leadership race: Sky set to cancel Johnson-Hunt debate – BBC News

Image copyright PA wire Sky News has said it will be forced to cancel a debate between the two men vying to be the next Tory leader unless Boris Johnson agrees to take part.The broadcaster hoped to be the first to stage a head-to-head debate between Mr Johnson and his rival Jeremy Hunt.But it said…

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt

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PA wire

Sky News has acknowledged this will probably be forced to execute a debate between the 2 men vying to be the next Tory leader except Boris Johnson has the same opinion to grab section.

The broadcaster hoped to be the principle to stage a head-to-head debate between Mr Johnson and his rival Jeremy Hunt.

But it acknowledged Mr Johnson had “to this level declined” its invitation and the match would no longer stride ahead with out him.

Mr Johnson has faced three days of questions over his non-public life after a row alongside with his accomplice Carrie Symonds.

The pale international secretary has declined to observation on the persona of the argument in Ms Symonds’ London dwelling, which led to the police being referred to as early on Friday morning.

He has additionally been accused of warding off media scrutiny extra generally, in particular on his Brexit coverage.

Allies of Mr Johnson possess stepped up their criticism of Ms Symonds’ neighbours, Tom Penn and Eve Leigh, for recording section of the argument and sharing it with the Guardian newspaper, suggesting their actions were “politically motivated”.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the European Study Community of Brexiteers, described the couple as “Corbynista curtain twitchers”.

The couple possess insisted they were motivated completely by issues for the welfare of Ms Symonds after reportedly listening to raised voices and plates and glasses being smashed.

Mr Johnson stays the frontrunner within the contest to be triumphant Theresa May maybe maybe fair, with 160,000 or so Conservative Salvage collectively members picking their next leader by the cease of July.

Mr Hunt has challenged him to a assortment of dwell TV debates over the next 10 days.

But Sky’s planned debate on Tuesday now appears to be unlikely to head ahead.

“Jeremy Hunt has agreed to grab section, nevertheless Boris Johnson has to this level declined the invitation,” the broadcaster acknowledged in a observation.

“We stand ready to host a debate the following day evening if each candidates fabricate themselves on hand,” it acknowledged. “Without each candidates, the following day’s debate will no longer grab relate.”

Mr Johnson has agreed to grab section in a one-on-one debate with Mr Hunt on ITV on 9 July, nevertheless by then vote casting papers will already were sent to celebration members.

The 2 men are additionally participating in a assortment of hustings for Tory members at some level of the UK.

Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt took section in a 5-method debate earlier within the management contest on the BBC remaining week, nevertheless Mr Johnson refused to join a identical match on Channel 4.

Writing within the Times on Monday, Mr Hunt told his rival no longer to be “a coward” and to grab section within the Sky debate. He insisted, although, he changed into as soon as “no longer alive to” in Mr Johnson’s non-public life.

He acknowledged Mr Johnson have to existing how he would possibly maybe stutter the UK would stride away the EU on 31 October if Parliament voted to terminate a no-deal Brexit, as it did in a non-binding vote in March.

Analysis: By Norman Smith, BBC assistant political editor

The response from Crew Hunt is to call him “bottler Boris” – to accuse his campaign of being complacent and no longer trusting their man to flip up.

Crew Hunt will additionally be ravishing pissed off on myth of they wished this probability to pick their man’s profile and receive him some name recognition.

There would possibly be no getting a ways from the indisputable truth that he’s factual no longer as properly-identified as his rival.

For their section, Mr Johnson’s supporters philosophize he’s participating in 16 hustings events at some level of the country and that is scrutiny sufficient.

Responding to the Sky announcement, a spokesman for Mr Hunt’s campaign acknowledged: ‘Whoever wants to be prime minister have to face up now to the intense scrutiny that incorporates the job, anything else less is deeply disrespectful to our members.

“Looking out to duck debates and dawdle down the clock except after postal ballots were returned is factual cynical and complacent. Boris Johnson have to terminate trying to slink into No 10 thru the help door and design clear about his programme for presidency.”

In his contain newspaper column on Monday within the Day-to-day Telegraph, Mr Johnson acknowledged the UK would face a “democratic explosion” if it didn’t stride away the EU by 31 October.

“This time we’re no longer going to bottle it. We’re no longer going to fail,” he wrote.

His team sing he is facing scrutiny via a assortment of management hustings in front of Conservative Salvage collectively members taking relate over the arriving weeks. All of them will probably be dwell-streamed for public viewing.

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