Boris Johnson explains why he refused to attend the Channel 4 debate

29 November 2019, 10:51 | Updated: 29 November 2019, 10:57

The Prime Minister has insisted the Conservatives are committed to tackling climate change, despite refusing to appear in a TV leaders debate on the subject last night.

- Boris Johnson's LBC phone-in: Watch in full

Taking part in an hour-long phone-in here on LBC, Boris Johnson said he simply didn't have time to appear in every debate.

A Conservative voter asked the Conservative leader: "What can you say to me today when you can't even debate climate change last night."

But Mr Johnson insisted: "I've done plenty of debates. I can't do absolutely everything. I'm here talking to Nick and I'm doing a press conference later on."

Boris Johnson responded to claims he was frightened to appear on the Channel 4 debate
Boris Johnson responded to claims he was frightened to appear on the Channel 4 debate. Picture: PA / LBC

Nick asked why he took so long to head to Yorkshire after the floods and why he took so long to convene COBRA.

Mr Johnson responded: "On the flooding, my sympathies are absolutely with everyone who experienced flooding in the Doncaster area, in Derbyshire and elsewhere.

"We did a huge amount and stand to do even more."

Referring to the Channel 4 debate, in which he was replaced by a melting ice sculpture are he decided not to attend, he added: "I didn't see the debate, but it's notable that people have talked more about that than any of the substance that came out of the debate. I think that's a shame.

"What we want to do is be a world leader in climate change."

The Prime Minister also denied claims that he would be reviewing Channel 4's public service remit following the stunt.