Boris Johnson hides in fridge on live TV while dodging interview on eve of election

Tory aide seen mouthing ‘oh for f***’s sake’ after seeing ‘Good Morning Britain’ reporter

Conrad Duncan
Wednesday 11 December 2019 09:48 GMT
Boris Johnson's minder swears at reporter live on tv as PM's team whisk him off into a giant fridge

Boris Johnson hid in a fridge while being pursued by a TV reporter attempting to interview him on the eve of the general election.

The prime minister was joining an early morning milk round in Leeds when he was confronted by Good Morning Britain’s Jonathan Swain about his “promise to talk to Piers [Morgan] and Susanna [Reid]”.

“I’ll be with you in a second,” Mr Johnson replied, before escaping into a large fridge.

In a video of the incident, one of the prime minister’s aides can be seen mouthing “oh for f***’s sake” after seeing Swain approaching the group.

“I’ve known you for 25 years, what is the matter with you?” Morgan said after the confrontation.

“You’ve got no problem doing interviews ... why would you rather be looking like you’re a bottle job?” he added.

The aide, who has been named as press secretary Robert Oxley, apparently made a call to the ITV show to complain about Morgan’s suggestion that he had assaulted the reporter.

“Robert Oxley, this poor little shrinking violet who works with Boris Johnson, has rung in,” Morgan told viewers as he clarified his comment.

“He didn’t assault our man, Jonathan Swain. Alright, he didn’t assault him.”

The presenter added: “What you [Oxley] were was extremely obnoxious, very aggressive, foul-mouthed and repulsive.”

Conservative sources have told the Guardian that the prime minister was “categorically not hiding” in the fridge and claimed he was instead being prepped for a different interview.

Mr Johnson has been accused of avoiding media scrutiny during this election campaign after he refused to take part in a one-on-one interview with the BBC’s Andrew Neil.

Every other major party leader has sat down for a half-hour primetime interview with Neil.

The prime minister was ambushed two months ago by Good Morning Britain and said he would come on the show “as soon as I possibly can”.

Since then, Mr Johnson has had high-profile interviews on This Morning and The Andrew Marr Show but has avoided an appearance on Morgan’s ITV show.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was also confronted on Wednesday morning and said he would be “very happy” to come on Good Morning Britain.

However, Morgan said ITV had asked him to appear on the show “every single day for the last six weeks” and he had not.

On Mr Johnson’s early morning delivery round, two bottles which were already outside a house were removed so the prime minister could pretend to be a milkman.

Mr Johnson knocked on the house’s door, which was opened by civil servant Debbie Monaghan.

“Look who’s here,” Ms Monaghan said when she opened the door, before calling her husband down to meet the prime minister.

The interaction was the latest incident in a stunt-laden Conservative campaign, in which Mr Johnson has driven a JCB digger through a polystyrene wall, made rock in Blackpool, and changed a wheel on a Formula One car.

Additional reporting by PA

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