Great Britain

Climate election debate – live: Boris Johnson dodges TV clash amid outrage over comments about free NHS, single mothers and Nigerians

Boris Johnson has been accused of “running scared” of an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Neil, after it emerged that he is the only major party leader not to agree a date for a grilling.

It comes as a polling model released by YouGov shows the Tories on course to win 359 seats in parliament, giving Mr Johnson a comfortable majority of 68. Jeremy Corbyn is understood to be changing tack in Labour’s campaign, particularly in Leave-voting areas, following the analysis.

Labour attacked the PM’s “dark ages” attitudes after highlighting remarks he made in a Spectator column on single mothers. Other unearthed articles show the PM dismissing people’s passion for the NHS being free, and claiming young people had “an almost Nigerian interest in money”.

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Johnson refuses to commit to Andrew Neil interview

Boris Johnson has refused to commit to an interview with Andrew Neil, despite the other party leaders having agreed to be grilled by the BBC journalist.

Speaking to the Press Association, Mr Johnson said he would make himself available for "all kinds of inquisitions and interrogations" until the 12 December election.

He said: "Here I am being interviewed by you, I don't think I have barely stopped being interviewed by people since the election began and will continue to submit to all kinds of inquisitions and interrogations until polling day."

He added:

"I'm in discussion with all sorts of people about all sorts of interviews and look forward to doing many, many more..."I'm going to do many, many interviews over the course of the next few days and I'm sure that people are having all sorts of conversations right now about who I'm going to be talking to when and where and I look forward to it very much."