UK Election Contenders Hold Last Debate

(AP) -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to take on the leader of the main opposition Labour Party in the last major debate ahead of next week's general election.

The head-to-head contest Friday comes amid an ongoing controversy over Johnson's decision to avoid an in-depth interview with the BBC's Andrew Neil. All of the other candidates have taken part in such questioning, and Neil has accused Johnson of "running scared.''

Johnson pushed for the December vote, which is taking place more than two years early, in hopes of winning a majority and breaking Britain's political impasse over Brexit. He says that if the Conservatives win a majority, he will get Parliament to ratify his Brexit divorce deal and take the U.K. out of the EU by the current Jan. 31 deadline.

All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs next Thursday.

(KR)