THE BBC was under fire last night for its election coverage again after it failed to secure a pre-polling day date for Andrew Neil to interview Boris Johnson before it broadcast his interviews with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

It emerged yesterday that Johnson has so far failed to agree a pre-election interview with Neil, a former Sunday Times editor noted for his tough questioning style.

His 30 minute peak time interview with Sturgeon was shown on BBC1 on Monday night where he pressed the SNP leader on issues including any potential of a hard border between an independent Scotland and the UK post Brexit, what currency an independent Scotland would use and the size of Scotland’s public spending deficit.

Neil interviewed Corbyn on Tuesday night for the BBC pressing the Labour leader on his handling of claims over antisemitism in his party and asking him to apologise over the accusations.

Corbyn’s resistance to issuing an apology lead to negative front page headlines dominating many newspapers yesterday.

The Times’ splash headline is “Corbyn refuses to apologise”, while the Telegraph’s stated “Corbyn refuses to apologise to Jews”.

The Labour antisemitism issue was also raised by the media yesterday morning with Sturgeon - whose MPs could prop up a minority Labour Government - when she launched the SNP’s manifesto in Glasgow. She said she would expect any PM requiring SNP support would have a zero tolerance on racism.

Corbyn was pressed by Neil on his public spending promises and Brexit plans, including his decision to stay neutral if there is a second EU vote.

READ MORE: BBC accused of removing audience laughter at Boris Johnson on Question Time

READ MORE: BBC admits ‘mistake’ made in editing Question Time laughter at Johnson

Yesterday the BBC said they had “not yet been able to fix a date” for the proposed encounter with Johnson, while a Downing Street source said that no interview date had been confirmed, and Johnson’s team were still “in discussions” with the BBC.

Responding to the saga, Neil Mackay, a Herald columnist, hit out at the BBC.

He tweeted: “This stinks of a total stitch up - and the BBC and its election team look complicit. You don’t plan a series of interviews with political leaders unless everyone is signed up - especially the Prime Minister. Terrible journalism at best. At worst, an utter abuse of the electorate.”

In a tweet aimed at the BBC, Stephen Bush, the New Statesman’s political editor, wrote: “My unpopular opinion: if you haven’t confirmed all the candidates to face your setpiece Toughest Interviewer (TM), then you shouldn’t schedule the other interviews with your toughest interviewer.”

Adam Payne, senior political reporter at Business Insider tweeted: “This is a huge clanger by the BBC.”

Three more editions of the Andrew Neil Interviews were initially scheduled for next week, and the BBC yesterday announced that the Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson would be interviewed on Wednesday next week and the Brexit Party’s Nigel Farage on Thursday.

As debate raged about Corbyn’s performance in last night’s debate, BBC News said in a tweet: “For those asking when Boris Johnson’s interview will take place, we’re in ongoing discussions with his team but we haven’t yet been able to fix a date.”

Last night a BBC spokesperson told The National that the broadcaster was still talking to Johnson’s team about dates.