View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
November 22, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 8:38am

Channel 4 cancels leaders’ debate over Boris Johnson no-show

By Freddy Mayhew

Channel 4 has cancelled a televised leaders’ debate planned for this Sunday after Boris Johnson refused to take part.

It’s not the first time Johnson has snubbed the broadcaster.

He was represented by an empty podium during its Conservative Party leadership debate in June (pictured) and refused an interview with Channel 4 News at the Tory conference in October.

This week he also banned the Daily Mirror from his campaign battle bus.

Channel 4 Dispatches commissioning editor Louisa Compton tweeted: “Gutted we’ve had to cancel a planned Leaders debate on Channel 4 for this Sunday.

“Jeremy Corbyn  had agreed to take part but, after many weeks of intense discussion, we were unable to secure agreement from Boris Johnson’s team.”

Krishnan Guru-Murthy would have hosted the debate. He tweeted: “After weeks of negotiations Boris Johnson’s team didn’t want him to go head to head with Jeremy Corbyn on Channel 4.”

Content from our partners
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it
Impress: Regulation, arbitration and complaints resolution
Papermule: Workflow automation for publishers

Press Gazette has contacted the Conservative Party for comment.

Channel 4 News, which is part of ITN, has now organised a debate on climate change, the first in the UK to focus on the issue, for a date yet to be announced.

It has said the Labour, Liberal Democrat, SNP, and Green Party leaders had agreed to take part, but it is still awaiting confirmation from Johnson and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.

Channel 4 News said: “We urge the Prime Minister and Nigel Farage to show their commitment to this major issue and take part.

“We do not intend to accept anyone other than party leaders to debate and examine the climate crisis and the related issues of the environment and biodiversity.”

Emergency on Planet Earth: The Debate will air at 7pm, replacing the daily news bulletin.

Separately, Channel 4 News will host a live debate with representatives from all seven major political parties that will take questions from an audience of undecided voters on everything except Brexit on 8 December.

This debate will be hosted by Cathy Newman.

The BBC is hosting a special edition of Question Time tonight at 7pm on BBC One in which the Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and SNP leaders will face a grilling from members of the audience.

Picture: Channel 4 News

Topics in this article : ,

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network