Questions over Boris Johnson no-show in TV debate – The Yorkshire Post says

BORIS JOHNSON’S reluctance – and refusal in some instances – to take part in TV debates would, on its own, be a legitimate source of concern. However these misgivings are now magnified by continuing allegations about his private life and character.

These are unprecedented times. Not only does the membership of one party, the Tories in this instance, have the power for the first time ever to select Britain’s next Prime Minister, but it also comes at a time of a political and constitutional crisis over Brexit.

And while it is right that the former Foreign Secretary, and Mr Johnson’s successor and rival Jeremy Hunt, set out their competing visions to party activists, they’re doing so on an individual basis.

Boris Johnson's demeanour during Saturday's leadership hustings in Birmingham.

Yet they, and their party, appear to forget that the victor will not just be Prime Minister of up to 160,000 people – the number of Tory members entitled to a vote. They will also become the leader of 66 million people and Mr Johnson should have accepted the invitation to attend tonight’s debate on Sky News where the two contenders could have cross-examined each other.

There’s also the small matter of how they will work with others to deliver Brexit. After all, Mr Johnson – or his opponent – won’t be able to go into hiding prior to Prime Minister’s Questions or a difficult Parliamentary inquisition. They will be expected to show statesmanship as well as calmness under pressure.

As such, it is even more perplexing that Mr Johnson, a politician steeped in the media, appears now to be so publicity shy when he has been finessing his campaign from the moment he resigned as Foreign Secretary a year ago. What is he hiding from? Could he be having second thoughts about his ability to do the job? Yet, while this is unknown, Mr Johnson’s curious conduct is even more reason for an independent commission to be given the task of finalising the debate protocols for the next election. They’re too important to be left to 
the whims of individual leaders.

Boris Johnson ignord questions about his private life when challegnwed by Iain Dale at the Tory hustings on Saturday.