The Prime Minister was branded a “known liar” and could not be trusted by Ms Byrne during a speech at the Edinburgh TV festival. Her scathing comments received a huge backlash online and have since sparked Mr Johnson to refuse entry to the broadcaster’s team. Channel 4 had sent a team to the G7 summit in Biarritz but were refused a planned interview with Mr Johnson.
According to Channel 4’s new editor, Ben de Pear, explained a team of journalists had been invited by Downing Street advisers.
Their access was then denied following Ms Byrne’s comments.
The news organisation wrote on Twitter: “Channel 4 news’ interview with Boris Johnson at G7 Biarritz cancelled despite team being told to travel to summit for interview.
“Decision by 10 Downing Street was made following criticism from Dorothy Byrne that Mr Johnson limits access to media like Putin.
Boris Johnson has scrapped an interview with Channel 4
Boris Johnson was branded a “known liar” by Channel 4’s news chief
“10 Downing Street’s reasons or cancellation have varied. One senior advisor said the interview was scrapped because of Dorothy Byrne’s recent speech.
“Mr Johnson told ITV News’ Peston it was because he didn’t have time.”
Questioned about cancelling the Channel 4 interview by ITV News’ political editor Robert Peston, who said he was not allowing himself to be “held to account”, Mr Johnson said: “I’m delighted to be interviewed by you Robert, it’s the highest honour that, one of the high honours that a politician can have.
“But I have to, I’m afraid, once this ceremony is over, I have to go and talk to French radio, French TV and lots of other outlets as well.”
Boris Johnson’s team had invited Channel 4 to interview
Mr Peston tweeted: “I suggested to Boris Johnson that he had ‘shot himself in the foot’ in his response to the critique of Dorothy Byrne, head of news and current affairs at Channel 4, that he and Jeremy Corbyn don’t allow themselves to be held to account on television enough – because today he refused to be interviewed by Channel 4 News.
“‘Not in the least’ he told me. But if he heard Byrne’s recent MacTaggart speech and a linked interview as undermining Ch4’s impartiality, surely he should complain to the regulator Ofcom.
“Ofcom would be the appropriate adjudicator. And at a time of what Johnson calls a national emergency, he should not shy away from scrutiny by Ch4 or any serious news organisation.
“The attitude of Johnson’s predecessor, May, and her press secretary – ‘what’s in it for us?’ – is surely inappropriate when as a nation we face our most momentous peacetime decision for generations, how, when and whether we leave the EU.”
Channel 4 had sent a team to the G7 summit in Biarritz but were refused a planned interview
Boris Johnson said he didn’t have the time for the interview, according to sources
Mr de Pear said they are “looking for clarity” following Mr Johnson’s cancellation of the interview.
It comes after Ms Byrne claimed in a speech: “Boris Johnson has been proclaimed by Downing Street as the first social media PM.
“On taking office, he recorded a jolly statement – so much more fun than being grilled by Emily Maitlis or Jon Snow.
“It reminded me of something and at first I couldn’t think what it was.
Boris Johnson facts
“And then it came to me, this great flag bearer for democracy Vladimir Putin who also likes to talk directly to the nation.”
The crowd then began laughing at Ms Bryne’s comparison of the two leaders.
She continued: “We’ve also seen a stream of paid adverts on Facebook. He says he wants us to join him. Great, can we bring Matt Frei and a camera crew?
Boris Johnson: Channel 4 are looking into “clarify” the interview cancellation
“Meanwhile, he’s roaming around the country doing photo opportunities. Shouldn’t he be busy doing something else?
“As for his Facebook Live Q&As. We were told it was ‘unpasteurised and unmediated.’ Of course, it was also unregulated and therefore under no duty to be duly impartial. We did not show that propaganda exercise. And we should not show this propaganda as a matter of course.
“The questions were easy and there were no follow-ups. Here’s one – ‘How would he protect mental health services?’ Break your heart Cathy Newman, could you have come up with that? Call yourself a journalist Andrew Neil, could you think of this toughie? ‘What’s going to be done to tackle knife crime?”