PRIME Minister Boris Johnson was told to “stop talking” by a frustrated journalist during his first appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in two years.

During an interview with Nick Robinson, Johnson was challenged on current problems in supply chains – largely caused by the shortage of HGV drivers following the UK’s exit from the EU.

Johnson’s broadcast rounds, ahead of his Conservative conference speech, saw him deny the situation is a crisis.

The National:

The Tory leader argued that the shortage of lorry drivers was down to the industry’s failures to encourage people to sign up for the job.

Robinson cut off the Prime Minister to tell him he’d already made his point, and added: "Prime Minister - stop talking. We are going to have questions and answers, not where you merely talk, if you wouldn’t mind."

Johnson told the journalist he’d be “very happy” to stop talking.

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During another appearance this morning, Johnson defended the £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit – the largest overnight cut to benefits in modern history.

“This government is doing the difficult, long-term things,” he told viewers. “We got Brexit done, which was a very difficult thing to do, and we are now going to address the big, underlying issues that face the UK: long-term lack of productivity, long-term lack of investment in energy and infrastructure.

“We are going to fix that.

“That will have a big downward pressure on costs and that is the way to tackle inflation.”

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Johnson was also asked about protesters who had blocked roads during environmental demonstrations.

The Prime Minister branded the activists “irresponsible crusties” and accused them of doing “considerable damage to the economy”.

His comments come ahead of Home Secretary Priti Patel’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference today, in which she will lay out new measures to deal with demonstrators deemed to be disruptive.

The Home Secretary is expected to confirm plans for tougher powers against the likes of Insulate Britain and Extinction Rebellion in her conference speech.