Emma Barnett destroys Boris Johnson supporting MP over leadership hopefuls lack of media appearances

Greg Evans
Tuesday 11 June 2019 15:30
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Despite being the clear front runner in the Tory leadership contest, Boris Johnson has so far been a little quiet with public appearances.

With all of his fellow candidates already launching their campaigns with big speeches, pledges and social media campaigns, Johnson's absence from the field has been a little suspicious.

Most of his policy announcements have come through his Telegraph column and he has also refused to take part in any of the televised debates which will feature the nine other candidates.

Many feel that Johnson is trying to avoid any scrutiny over his past comments, which has lead to fellow MPs like Matt Hancock and David Lammy to call him out with the latter branding the Brexiteer a coward.

Saying nothing, other than through a lucrative column in the Telegraph, is no way for a potential prime minister to conduct themselves. The country is crying out for leadership, not cowardice.

This criticism has only just started to bubble up but BBC radio presenter Emma Barnett found the perfect way to call out the former foreign minister, without even talking to him.

During an interview with Tory MP Rishi Sunak who is a Johnson supporter, Barnett perfectly quizzed him on why Johnson is avoiding any press interviews.

Do you feel a bit uncomfortable, as the Daily Mail put it, that he [Johnson] is hiding behind the sofa?

Sunak replied:

He's been talking about education policy for a long time in his Telegraph column which is available for anyone to purchase and reported in most newspapers the day after he wrote it.

Barnett then pointed out that not everyone buys newspapers but it's good that Johnson is seemingly only willing to share his views when there is some money involved.

It's good that he only shares his news for money because the last time that he spoke to a newspaper was when he was being paid 26 grand by a bunch of insurers.

The MP for Richmond said:

The first people who are electing the new leader are conservative MPs. Boris is spending all of his time in those debates, with all the other candidates, being quizzed and scrutinised and when we get to the stage, later on, he will be participating in different formats of debate.

Right now the focus is on Conservative MPs and he is participating fully in the rigorous debates that are happening. The idea he is not subjecting himself to scrutiny is clearly silly.

Barnett then pulls up Sunak after he mentions that Johnson took part in the televised Brexit debates in 2016 and asks him how many times he has willingly appeared on TV and radio since then?

Sorry, that was three years ago. I'm living in 2019. Do you know how many times he has appeared on The Andrew Marr Show, this show, The Today Programme in 2019?

Sunak fails to come up with an answer and the reality is that there isn't an answer, as Barnett tells him:

Zero. Zero. A big fat zero.

A clip of the exchange on 5 Live has since gone viral with many people complimenting Barnett and criticising Johnson.

HT BBC Radio 5 Live

More: The 7 questions Boris Johnson needs to answer if he becomes Tory leader​

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