SINGAPORE The U.K. Conservative Party accused Channel 4 News of breaking impartiality rules after the broadcaster used a melting ice sculpture of a globe to replace Prime Minister Boris Johnson who failed to attend a live climate change debate on Thursday night.
The news program had asked the leaders of the key political parties to take part in the debate ahead of the Dec. 12 election but Johnson and Brexit Party head Nigel Farage chose not to attend. This prompted Channel 4 to replace the two politicians with ice sculptures rather than the empty chairs as is usually the case.
The decision by Johnson, who is expected to lead the Conservatives into a comfortable majority, drew derision on social media. Hashtags such as #WheresBoris and #borisisacoward trended in the U.K. as online users vented frustration with Johnson’s choice to refrain from debating on a topic that is seen to be one of the greatest issues for generations to come.