Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has said he will take part in Tuesday’s televised Tory leadership debate on the BBC.

The frontrunner in the contest to replace Theresa May said the event, which will take place after the second round of voting, was the right forum to debate the big issues.

Rival candidates have accused Mr Johnson of avoiding media scrutiny.

He said he was “very keen” on TV debates but viewers might not like too much “blue-on-blue action”.

It is unclear whether Mr Johnson will take part in Sunday’s planned debate on Channel 4.

The other five candidates still in the leadership race have urged Mr Johnson to take part in every TV debate.

The former foreign secretary, who won the first Tory MPs’ ballot for the contest on Thursday with 114 votes, told the BBC Radio 4’s World at One he was not, opposed, in principle, to TV debates and had done many of them in his two successful London mayoral campaigns.

“I think it is important that we have a sensible, grown-up debate,” he said.

“My own observation is that in the past when you’ve had loads of candidates, it can be slightly cacophonous and I think the public have had quite a lot of blue on blue action frankly over the last three years.

“We don’t necessarily need a lot more of that and so what I think the best solution would be would be to have a debate on what we all have to offer the country.

“The best time to do that I think would be after the second ballot on Tuesday and the best forum is the proposed BBC debate. I think that’s a good idea.”