London: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn will go head-to-head in a live BBC debate on Friday, for the final time ahead of the December 12 general election.
In the hour-long BBC One programme slated to begin at 8.30 p.m. (local time), Johnson and Corbyn will face questions from the audience in Maidstone, Kent and from those who have submitted them via the BBC News website.
Johnson and Corbyn faced each other last month in the ITV election debate, when they clashed on Brexit, the National Health Services (NHS), trust and leadership, the future of Scotland and the Royal Family.
Corbyn was interviewed by ITV on Thursday night, but the Prime Minister declined an invitation to take part in the channel’s series of leader interviews.
Although Johnson has in the past rejected opposition claims he was avoiding scrutiny, pointing out that he has taken part in debates and interviews during the campaign with the BBC and other broadcasters.
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.”
She said it was “bad enough” that her party had been “excluded” from the BBC’s head-to-head debate between Johnson and Corbyn, and “even worse that right now Boris Johnson won’t be held properly to account for his lies and extreme Brexit plans”.