Liz Truss, the frontrunner in the race to be the UK’s next Prime Minister, has pulled out of a key interview which was due to air on Tuesday as she could “no longer spare the time”.
The one-to-one interview was to be conducted by veteran BBC political journalist Nick Robinson, reports dpa news agency citing the broadcaster as saying on Monday.
“We regret that it has not been possible to do an in depth interview with both candidates despite having reached agreement to do so,” her press team said in a tweet.
Truss’s rival in the race, Rishi Sunak, sat down with Robinson earlier this month.
Robinson tweeted: “Was pleased to secure an in-depth interview with @trussliz on BBC1. I am disappointed & frustrated it’s been cancelled.”
A source from the Truss campaign said she is not participating as she is focused on winning as many votes as possible and on preparations for government.
The incumbent Foreign Secretary has faced accusations of dodging scrutiny from her rival’s camp and Labour.
A source from Sunak’s team said: “It’s important that candidates face proper scrutiny so that members and the public know what they are offering.
“Avoiding that scrutiny suggests either Truss doesn’t have a plan at all or the plan she has falls far short of the challenges we face this winter.”
Conor McGinn, Labour’s shadow minister without portfolio, said: “The British public don’t get a say in choosing the next Tory Prime Minister and now it seems Liz Truss wants to avoid any public scrutiny whatsoever.
“People will rightly conclude that she doesn’t want to answer questions about her plans for the country because she simply hasn’t got any serious answers to the big challenges facing our country. Only Labour can provide the fresh start the country needs.”