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BBC sets date for Andrew Neil to quiz Conservative leadership rivals Johnson and Hunt

Andrew Neil will quiz Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, the final two candidates in the Conservative leadership race, in a special programme to air on BBC One next week.

The Andrew Neil Interviews: Jeremy Hunt & Boris Johnson will broadcast at 7pm on Friday 12 July with Neil conducting two consecutive 30-minute interviews with the two men vying for Number 10.

BBC director of news Fran Unsworth said: “Andrew Neil is one of the best political interviewers on television.

“He’ll be questioning the two candidates on behalf of audiences up and down the country, including the Conservative Party members who are voting for their next leader.

“Their decision will, of course, affect all of us, so we think it’s strongly in the public interest that we put the two candidates and their policy ambitions to the test.”

Earlier this week, Hunt branded the BBC’s plans to host a Question Time special with both men just six days before voting closes on 22 July as an “absolute joke”, warning most members would have already voted.

Tory members eligible to vote for the party’s next leader, who will replace Theresa May as Prime Minister, are expected to receive their ballot papers between 6 and 8 July.

The public broadcaster said it had to fit the date around the candidates’ other commitments and argued it is important they both “speak to the whole of the UK”.

Johnson and Hunt are still due to participate in a TV debate hosted by Julie Etchingham for ITV News on 9 July, which will also air after Conservative members receive their voting slips.

Johnson and Hunt have both already been quizzed by BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg and taken part in a debate hosted by Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis during the leadership race.

Johnson was represented by an empty lectern after he was the only candidate to snub a 90-minute Channel 4 debate hosted by Krishnan Guru-Murthy when seven MPs were still in the race.

Sky News was forced to cancel plans for a debate due to take place last week after Johnson refused to show up.

Picture: BBC

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2 thoughts on “BBC sets date for Andrew Neil to quiz Conservative leadership rivals Johnson and Hunt”

  1. The fact that most conservatives who have already voted knew in advance who they were going to vote for whilst those voters who still had to make a decision are being targeted by the debate…wise move for whoever puts on the best performance being the best actor maybe not the best leader.

  2. 0953 GMT Thursday 04 July 2019

    This hype for Neil is unjustified.
    Neil’s career on the record shows him to be
    the opposite to the fantasy image Fran Unsworth is
    crediting him with…
    The real issues will never be addressed
    in this belated routine nor in any other
    BBC or SKYNEWS or ITV or C4 going through the motions.

    Fleet Street has done grave disservice to the cause of democracy and now to the UK.
    No audit, no investigation of the claims by Boris Johnson and the other petty-minded, selfish opportunists has been done by the Mainstream Media.

    Even when the future ‘unity’ of the UK is openly treated as secondary to “Brexit” (as Farage confirms, to @Peston), Fleet Street has chosen to ignore this; instead the Brexiteering narrative is being reinforced daily by the alt-Right editorial line in the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph, the Sun..

    Constitutionally, a referendum is only advisory and the 2016 should have been treated as no more than that.

    Yet this crucial and clear principle was sidelined ion the bogus debates before MPs
    ignorantly voted to Invoke Article 50.

    It took a non-MP, @thatginamiller, to ASSERT the right of the elected MPs!

    Which proved that MPs themselves were not up to the task of defending elected Democracy themselves!

    There never has been a real debate about “the British Constitution” and the coup that is taking place against Democratic UK via the Brexit Trojan Horse is the first such coup
    in centuries!

    Fleet Street and the BBC, other TV channels totally failing to REPORT this!

    Andrew Neil and his “BBC colleagues” have been the Brexit Broadcasters’
    Complicit in the sabotaging, the destruction of the UK; not telling the truth and most certainly never debating TO FIND the Truth.

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