The BBC’s Andrew Neil has issued a challenge to Boris Johnson to take part in a sit-down interview with him before next week’s general election.
An interview that the Prime Minister won’t be able to take part in, and he has handed the BBC a note from his Mummy confirming that he’s not well enough.
Mr Johnson is the only leader of a main party not to have faced a half-hour, prime-time BBC One grilling by Mr Neil.
And the Prime Minister has insisted that this is nothing at all to do with cowardice, or a crippling fear of scrutiny – rather that he has a bit of a tickly cough at the moment, and it likely to have it every day right up to but not including the actual election day itself, as stated in his note from Mummy.
But Mr Neil addressed the Prime Minister directly at the end of his interview with Nigel Farage, saying: “It is not too late. We have an interview prepared. Oven-ready, as Mr Johnson likes to say,” he said, in a monologue.
Although why Boris uses the phrase ‘oven-ready’ is anyone’s guess, when the only experience he’s ever had in this regard is cooking the books on Tory spending and cooking up a factually incorrect story for The Spectator and passing it off as ‘journalism’.
Mr Johnson has also declined an invitation to be grilled by ITV’s Julie Etchingham, as part of her series of leader interviews.
Which he did so by handing ITV a photocopy of the note from his Mummy. Asking Carrie to forge that note really was a stroke of genius on his part, even if he had to bribe her with a holiday in the Seychelles to persuade her to do it.