Journalists get frosty reception from Boris Johnson as he hides in fridge to avoid scrutiny

Written by John Johnston on 11 December 2019 in Diary
Diary

Boris Johnson has started his final day of campaigning by retreating into an industrial fridge to hide from reporters.

One of the stand out moments of the general election campaign has been Boris Johnsons steadfast refusal to submit himself to questioning by BBC inquisitor general Andrew Neil.

But on Wednesday the PM took things a step further after he opted to hide in a fridge rather than face questions from Good Morning Britain's Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid.

Mr Johnson was ambushed by a GMB camera crew during one of his final campaign outings in Yorkshire, where he was helping deliver milk. But the PM fobbed off the crew, telling them he would be "with you in a second" before disappearing into the industrial unit.

But the incident took a further unexpected turn after Mr Johnson's press secretary, Rob Oxley, began jostling with GMB reporter Johnathan Swain and was caught on live TV saying: "Oh for f**k sake"

Tory sources later claimed Mr Oxley was not swearing at the reporter, but was instead expressing "general frustration".

But the incident provoked a backlash from Mr Morgan who said of the PM: "I've known you for 25 years. What is the matter with you? 

"You're a good bloke normally, you have no problem with interviews, you bluster your way through them.

"Why would you rather look like a bottle job."

 

 

Mr Morgan later tweeted out the clip with the message: "Cowardice is never a good look".

And in an angry response to the PM's press secretary, he added: "I'd like to know what Mr Oxley, who's the press secretary, what the hell he thinks he doing talking to you [Mr Swain] in that way and being physically aggressive with you?

"That's not the behaviour we expect from a press secretary whose salary by the way will be paid ultimately by we the taxpayer. It's outrageous.

"Tell Mr Oxley to stop abusing you and stop using foul language, stop physically barring you from getting near the Prime Minister whose salary is paid by us. The clock is ticking."

The Prime Minister's repeated refusal to address questions from reporters also saw him replaced by a melting ice sculpture during a Channel 4 leader's debate on climate change.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, Mr Johnson was heavily criticised for taking a reporter's phone and putting it in his pocket after he was repeatedly asked to look at a photo of a sick child who was forced to lie on a hospital bed as a result of overcrowding.

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