General Election 2019: Johnson and Sturgeon both accused of 'running scared'

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Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon have both been accused today of avoiding scrutiny.

The SNP said the Prime Minister was afraid to face Scottish voters with Mr Johnson rarely seen in Scotland during the General Election campaign, while the Scottish Conservatives hit out at the First Minister's failure to take part in a BBC radio phone-in show.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said Mr Johnson "knew he was utterly toxic" to Scottish voters, and was ducking scrutiny by refusing to take part in any debates in Scotland or with Nicola Sturgeon.

The Prime Minister has visited Scotland twice during the election campaign, the last time on November 26. If he makes no further visits he will have not have been in Scotland for the last 16 days of the election campaign.

Mr Blackford said: "Boris Johnson knows he's utterly toxic to Scottish voters and is running scared of people in Scotland - by ducking debates, avoiding scrutiny, and refusing to even pay a flying visit.

"The no-show Tory leader has been an absentee from Scotland for almost the entire election and is too chicken to face Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish media, or the voters at the Scottish debates.

Boris Johnson has been accused of "running scared" of Scottish voters.

Boris Johnson has been accused of "running scared" of Scottish voters.

"The SNP is the main challenger in every Tory seat - only a vote for the SNP can stop Boris Johnson getting the five year majority he craves."

Mr Johnson has also faced criticism for failing to appear on television debates; Channel 4 replaced him with a block of ice in its leaders' debate programme, and BBC presenter Andrew Neil directly challenged Mr Johnson to be interviewed, after he completed half hour interrogations of every other party leader.

Meanwhile Ms Sturgeon was accused of ducking a BBC Scotland radio phone in today, which has seen ever other Scottish leader take part. Instead of listeners to the Call Kaye show being able to put questions to the First Minister, Ian Blackford was there in her stead.

Annie Wells, Scottish Conservative MSP for Glasgow said: “Nicola Sturgeon has sat on TV sofas the length and breadth of Britain preaching to everyone in this campaign. Yet the one time she is asked to actually listen to voters in Scotland and answer their questions, she runs a mile.

“It’s clear she’s running scared of the thousands of Scots who have had enough of the SNP’s failing government and would have given her a piece of their mind.

“Refusing to listen to voters in Scotland - while berating other politicians for not going to debates - is exactly the kind of high-handed hypocrisy we’ve come to expect from the First Minister. On Thursday, voters in Scotland will get the chance to say what they think of her performance. She’s had her say, now we can have ours.”