Even a Sky presenter thinks Johnson hiding from Channel 4 is ‘pathetic’

Boris Johnson at 2019 conference
Ed Sykes

On 1 October, Boris Johnson avoided an interview with Channel 4 while speaking to a number of other media outlets. This may have been because Channel 4 actually does its job and consistently holds the Conservative Party to account. But even a presenter at corporate giant Sky thought Johnson’s move was “pathetic”.

Fleeing from scrutiny

The Channel 4 team publicly criticised Johnson for hiding from their questions:

 

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And it seemed that Johnson’s move was even too much for right-wing Sky presenter Adam Boulton, who called it a:

What was Johnson scared of?

A journalist recently accused Johnson of sexual misconduct. The PM has denied the allegations, though, with supporters claiming these were ‘private matters’.

In reality, as many have pointed out:

And Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy took the same position, saying:

Could this be why Johnson wanted to avoid Channel 4 scrutiny?

Or could it possibly be because Channel 4 has vocally called out the Conservatives’ Islamophobia crisis?

In July, Channel 4 revealed statistics suggesting endemic Islamophobia in the party, with 56% of its members agreeing that “Islam is a threat to the British way of life”. It also reported finding numerous Islamophobic posts online from apparent members. This wasn’t exactly news to the Muslim community, which had consistently called for official inquiries into Tory Islamophobia. But now, we have a Conservative prime minister who has faced much criticism for his own Islamophobic comments, and who has team members with alleged links with anti-Muslim organisations. So this is probably the kind of scrutiny Johnson could do without, especially with a racism row currently blowing up at conference.

The Tory conference Islamophobia scandal

On 30 September, the president of the National Union of Students (NUS) pulled out of the Conservatives’ conference, claiming that it “openly denies the existence of Islamophobia”:

At a time when far-right groups are on the rise, with Islamophobia at the centre of their hateful agenda, she said:

Criticism came from within the Conservative Party, too. As Business Insider reported, former Tory chair Sayeeda Warsi said she was “truly ashamed” of her party. Why? Because a conference “panel discussion” saw attendees “defend comments made by Boris Johnson about Muslim women, while panelists called for the term Islamophobia to be scrapped”.

Speaking of the meeting in question, Warsi stressed:

She also said she was “sick to my stomach” that “British Muslims have become a convenient scapegoat for populism, a butt of insulting language to increase poll ratings & an event on Islamophobia is an opportunity to demonise Muslims”. And she called on establishment media outlets to “wake up” to this, asking:

She then gave a powerful answer to an ill-thought-out Twitter question from her party:

Don’t let Team Johnson off the hook

By shunning a Channel 4 interview, Johnson showed how keen he is to avoid meaningful scrutiny. But we mustn’t let him. We must use every opportunity possible to hold him and his colleagues to account for their elitism, sexism, and racism.

Britain deserves so much better. And we need to demand better.

Featured image via Twitter – Channel 4

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    1. This is what Johnson is up to:

      Today he puts his “final offer” to the EU. The idea of that is to close down on the possibility of them offering an extension: there will be no point as there will be no further discussions.

      He knows they will turn down today’s offer. He will put the no-deal option to parliament and it will be defeated. He will then refuse to send the letter required by the Benn Act. There will a court application and the ruling will be that the government must send the letter. The Cabinet Sec or someone similar will be ordered to sign it.

      His assumption is the EU will turn down the request. Thus the government will have complied with the law and we will leave the EU on 31st without an arrangement.

      The flaws are: a) the EU may call his bluff and agree to an extension, in which case he is finished; b) the anti no-deal collaborative will agree on a temporary PM and hold the vote of no confidence, in which case he is finished.

      It’s high stakes, but that’s his game.

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