Boris Johnson Scraps G7 Interview With Channel 4 After Being Called "Coward" By News Chief

25 August 2019, 18:00

Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the G7 Summit in Biarritz in France
Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the G7 Summit in Biarritz in France. Picture: Getty

The Prime Minister has refused to give an interview to Channel 4 at the G7 summit in France just days after he was criticised by the organisation's news chief.

Boris Johnson was labelled a "coward" at an event at the Edinburgh TV Festival by Channel 4's Head of News and Current Affairs Dorothy Byrne.

The channel said they were due to talk to the Prime Minister at the G7 summit but that their meeting was cancelled despite being told to travel to France.

It tweeted that the decision by 10 Downing Street was made "following criticism from Dorothy Byrne that Mr Johnson limits access to media like Putin".

"10 Downing Street's reasons for the cancellation have varied. One senior advisor said the interview was scrapped because of Dorothy Byrne's recent speech. Mr Johnson told [Peston on ITV] it was because he didn't have time."

Questioned about the cancellation by Robert Peston, Mr Johnson said: "I'm delighted to be interviewed by you Robert, it's one of the high honours that a politician can have.

"But I have to, I'm afraid, once this ceremony is over, I have to go and talk to French radio, French TV and lots of other outlets as well."

In Ms Byrne's MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival, she called Mr Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn "cowards" who refuse to hold themselves up to proper scrutiny on television.