So, will Boris Johnson sit down for an interview with Andrew Neil? Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon have done theirs while Jo Swinson and Nigel Farage are scheduled for next week. The Prime Minister hasn’t yet agreed a time for his.
Given how tough an Andrew Neil interview is, just ask Jeremy Corbyn if you doubt that, it is hard not to be cynical about the Tories’ scheduling issues. Boris Johnson is, though, offering to appear on the Andrew Marr show this Sunday. This offers an easy solution to the problem. The Tory leader, who is clearly free on Sunday morning, could simply record his interview with Andrew Neil then and it could be shown that evening. I understand that the BBC have proposed a solution along these lines.
The BBC is not without cards to play in this negotiation. If it offers the Prime Minister a chance of an appearance on Marr regardless of whether he does the Andrew Neil interview, it will completely undercut its own position. However, if it makes clear that it is Neil or nothing, then the Tory leader will be more likely to agree to be interviewed—and scrutinised—in the same way that the other party leaders are being.