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Liz Truss was accused of “avoiding scrutiny” after she pulled out of an interview with Nick Robinson the day before it aired.
Today’s show host Robinson said she was “disappointed and frustrated” after Truss claimed she no longer had time to be questioned by him.
The half-hour interview was to be broadcast tomorrow night at 7:00 pm.
Robinson interviewed Truss’ rival, Rishi Sunak, early in the campaign.
Announcing the cancellation, the BBC said: “Mrs Truss’ team says she can no longer take the time to participate in the ‘Our Next Prime Minister’ programme.
“The other candidate for the conservative leadership, Rishi Sunak, interviewed Nick on August 10.
“We regret that it was not possible to have an in-depth discussion with both candidates, although an agreement was reached,” he said.
Reacting on Twitter, former BBC political editor Robinson said: “I was delighted to have an in-depth interview with Liz Truss on BBC1. I was disappointed and disappointed that it was cancelled.”
Truss’ campaign team did not respond to requests for comment.
A source close to Sunak told HuffPost UK: “It is important that candidates undergo proper scrutiny so members and the public know what they are offering.
“Avoiding this scrutiny shows that Truss has no plans at all, or that the plan he has is far behind the challenges we faced this winter.”
Unlike Sunak, Truss has already turned down a chance to interview the feared interrogator Andrew Neil on Channel 4.
Sunak’s campaign said his men conducted nine one-on-one broadcast interviews during the leadership campaign, compared to two of Truss’s.
Conor McGinn of the Labor Party said: “The British public has no say in choosing the next Tory Prime Minister, and now it looks like Liz Truss wants to avoid any public scrutiny.
“People will rightly conclude that he doesn’t want to answer questions about his plans for the country because he doesn’t have serious answers to the great challenges facing the country.”