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BREAKING: Boris Johnson chickens out of live Channel Four debate with Jeremy Corbyn

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The Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears to have channelled his inner-Theresa May after chickening out of a planned live TV debate on Channel Four with the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Writing on Twitter, Channel Four Commissioning Editor, Louisa Compton, said that the Boris Johnson had refused to agree to take part in the scheduled debate after “weeks of intense discussion“.

The debate was supposed to air on Channel Four on Sunday, and the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had already agreed to take part

However, Compton confirmed that Boris Johnson’s decision to chicken out had forced the broadcaster to completely cancel the show:

“Gutted we’ve had to cancel a planned Leaders debate on @Channel4 for this Sunday. @jeremycorbyn had agreed to take part but, after many weeks of intense discussion, we were unable to secure agreement from @BorisJohnson team. @krishgm wld have presented 1/2″

Compton went on to confirm that a separate debate amongst senior representatives of seven major parties would still take place on the channel – however, it is widely believed that Boris Johnson will not take part in this debate either:

“We WILL hold a live debate on Dec 8th featuring reps of 7 major parties taking qs from an audience of undecided voters. Leading politicians will be questioned about everything EXCEPT Brexit in the @cathynewman debate, including issues such as crime, health and climate change. 2/2”

In 2017, Theresa May famously refused to take part in live TV debates, and many broadcasters considered ’empty chairing’ her.

However, May chose to send the then Home Secretary Amber Rudd to deputise for her in one debate, rather than get the empty chair treatment.

The former Tory leader was widely ridiculed for refusing the scrutiny of live TV debates in 2017, and Johnson’s decision to do the same before this year’s December 12th election will surely dent his image among many voters as well.

Johnson has already been labelled a “coward” on social media, with many also calling on Channel Four to empty chair him.

The PM did take part in a live TV debate with the Labour leader on ITV earlier this week, but numerous public polls cited Jeremy Corbyn as the clear winner.

With Johnson’s Tories currently leading Labour in the polls, it is believed that the PM’s decision to chicken out of Sunday’s Channel Four debate could well be an attempt to avoid gaffes and maintain their polling margin.

The Tory leader has history for chickening out of debates when he’s in the lead – after being empty-chaired by Channel Four during the Tory leadership election for refusing to debate his five opponents.

Johnson is also refusing to take part in a 7-way debate scheduled on the BBC next Friday – and it is widely believed that Tories will send the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rishi Sunak, to deputise.

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