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  1. ITV Report

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn in head-to-head debate less than a week before election

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will go head-to-head in another debate on Friday evening. Credit: PA

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will go head-to-head in another debate on Friday evening.

The hour-long head-to-head will be shown on BBC One on Friday, and be chaired by former political editor Nick Robinson, with the programme starting at 8.30pm.

ITV's head-to-head debate between the Tory and Labour leader last month saw 6.7 people tune in.

With less than a week to go until polling day, the prime minister has been accused of "running scared" after refusing to be interviewed by Julie Etchingham on ITV's Tonight programme and by the BBC's Andrew Neil.

Other party leaders, including Jeremy Corbyn, Jo Swinson and Nigel Farage, have all been interviewed by veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil.

ITV newsreader and journalist Julie Etchingham. Credit: ITV News

Mr Neil tried to coax Mr Johnson onto his show, saying if he has to sit down to face the likes of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, he should be able to sit down for a 30 minute interview with him.

In a monologue following the end of Thursday's programme, who had grilled Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, Mr Neil issued a challenge to the prime minister.

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Mr Neil said: “We’ve always proceeded in good faith that the leaders would participate. And in every election they have. All of them. Until this one.

“It is not too late. We have the interview prepared. Oven-ready, as Mr Johnson likes to say.

“The theme running through our questions is trust, and why at so many times in his career, in politics and journalism, critics and sometimes even those close to him have deemed him to be untrustworthy.

“It is, of course, relevant to what he is promising us all now.”

The Conservative Party refused to comment.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said: “Boris Johnson must stop ducking scrutiny.

“His cowardly behaviour shows why he simply isn’t fit to be prime minister.”

Jeremy Corbyn has been interviewed by Andrew Neil during the campaign. Credit: PA

Earlier, ITV confirmed that Mr Johnson has refused to participate in their series of leader interviews with Julie Etchingham.

ITV said they contacted Mr Johnson’s press team on “repeated occasions” with times and dates, but that his team confirmed on Thursday that he will not be taking part.

Ian Lavery, Labour Party chairman, said: “Boris Johnson thinks he’s born to rule and doesn’t have to face scrutiny.

“He’s running scared because every time he is confronted with the impact of nine years of austerity, the cost of living crisis and his plans to sell out our NHS, the more he is exposed.”

Meanwhile, the Labour Party has complained to the BBC’s director general, accusing the broadcaster of “slanted and biased” election coverage.

In a letter, Labour’s co-campaign coordinator Andrew Gwynne raised concern about Mr Johnson’s “failure” to be interviewed by Mr Neil.

Mr Gwynne said the party agreed to Mr Corbyn’s interview with Neil based on the “clear understanding” that Mr Johnson had agreed the same terms.

Editor of Channel 4 News, Ben de Pear, said his programme was also awaiting confirmation from Mr Johnson regarding an interview.