Rory Stewart Hits Out At Boris Johnson For "Running Scared" In Boycotting Channel 4 Debate

16 June 2019, 13:03 | Updated: 16 June 2019, 13:06

Rory Stewart hits out at Boris Johnson for boycotting tonight's TV leadership debate, saying the former Foreign Secretary is "running scared".

Conservative Party leadership hopeful Rory Stewart said Boris Johnson was "running scared" by deciding to not attend Channel 4's leadership debate.

The leadership frontrunner is expected to be represented by an empty podium as the broadcaster challenges the remaining candidates running to succeed Theresa May as Conservative leader and become the next Prime Minister.

But asked by Nigel Farage what he made of Mr Johnson's decision to not attend, Mr Stewart said it was "shocking", adding he and Nigel "would definitely" turn up.

"In the end we're selecting something very serious, we're selecting a Prime Minister for this country, and the public and journalists deserve to ask some very tough questions, test his metal.

"Test his metal, work out what his plan is, how's he going to do it?

"I don't know why he's running scared."

But when Nigel suggested it was because Mr Johnson was leading the polls, Mr Stewart replied: "I think in the end sadly when he, as I hope will happen, loses this campaign, it'll be because of this decision to run scared.

"You must never run scared of the British public."

Rory Stewart in the LBC studio
Rory Stewart in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

Nigel asked the candidate whether he would serve in the cabinet if Mr Johnson was elected the party leader, to which Mr Stewart replied: "No, definitely not.

"I'm not running this race to be a Cabinet Minister, I'm a Cabinet Minister already.

"I'm running in this race to win."

Watch above.