Jeremy Hunt calls Boris Johnson a ‘bottler’ for ‘dodging public debates’ as Tory leadership hots up

JEREMY Hunt has dubbed Boris Johnson a “bottler” after accusing his rival of dodging public debates.

As the Tory leadership contest heats up the Foreign Secretary has opened fire at Johnson, saying he’s timed his debate appearances for after party members have cast their votes.

Jeremy Hunt has accused Boris Johnson of being a ‘bottler’ after not appearing in many public debates

Hunt, 52, told the Telegraph: “He may be the right man, I may be the right man. But Conservative Party members can only make that choice if you have a proper debate.

“And you can’t have that debate if one of the candidates is bottling all opportunities to have public head-to-head debate before ballot papers are sent out.”

Last night Sky News’ Kay Burley said Johnson has refused to take part in a TV debate on Tuesday, which Hunt is already scheduled to appear at.

It comes as the pair are set to face party members today in Birmingham in the first of 16 regional hustings over the next month.

Johnson is expected to emerge from his Camberwell home to attend the event, a day after news of an explosive row between the PM-hopeful and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds emerged.

A neighbour called 999 after reportedly hearing screaming, shouting and plate-smashing just after midnight yesterday.

Today Hunt goaded Johnson over his lack of public debate, using a reference to the latter’s political hero Winston Churchill, and saying: “This is supposed to be his finest hour… but if you’re going to hide away, that’s not democracy.”

Tory members will be sent out their voting slips on July 5, but Hunt said Johnson has only committed to a televised debated on July 9.

“And you can’t have that debate if one of the candidates is bottling all opportunities to have public head-to-head debate before ballot papers are sent out.”

Jeremy Hunt

Realising this, Hunt says he wrote to his rival to challenging him to live debates after each of the regional hustings.

He added: “You know, in every campaign that we have put to the members in the past the front runner has not won.

“We are in the biggest constitutional crisis of my lifetime and I think, far more than the personalities of the individuals, people want to know who has the best solution who can get us out of the crisis of the Brexit process. I’m that person.”

Last night we revealed the two final contenders to be Britain’s next Prime Minister will go head to head in front of an audience of Sun readers and take their tough questions.

The 90 minute-long showdown will be held in the week beginning July 15 at The Sun’s HQ, the News Building, overlooking London Bridge.

Coming at a crucial moment in the four week-long contest just before voting closes, it is set to be the duo’s final chance to influence a mass audience of the Conservatives’ 160,000 members.

AFP or licensors

Hunt is battling with Johnson to take the leadership of the Conservative Party[/caption]

PA:Press Association

Johnson has been accused of scheduling public debates for after the Tory members vote[/caption]

He has only taken part in one public debate so far in the leadership contest

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