Opinion: Boris Johnson vs Andrew Neil confirmed we are heading for Brexit crisis
The interviewer deserves credit for setting a benchmark below which Johnson is likely to fall – if he survives as prime minister long enough to be tested
Johnson was sacked from The Times newspaper in the late 1980s after he fabricated a quote from his godfather, the historian Colin Lucas, for a front-page article about the discovery of Edward II’s Rose Palace. “The trouble was that somewhere in my copy I managed to attribute to Colin the view that Edward II and Piers Gaveston would have been cavorting together in the Rose Palace,” he claimed. Alas, Gaveston was executed 13 years before the palace was built. “It was very nasty,” Mr Johnson added, before attempting to downplay it as nothing more than a schoolboy blunder.
As editor of The Spectator, he was forced to apologise for an article in the magazine which blamed drunken Liverpool fans for the 1989 Hillsborough disaster and suggested that the people of the city were wallowing in their victim status. “Anyone, journalist or politician, should say sorry to the people of Liverpool – as I do – for misrepresenting what happened at Hillsborough,” he said.
In 1999 Johnson was offered editorship of The Spectator by owner Conrad Black on the condition that he would not stand as an MP while in the post. In 2001 he stood - and was elected - MP for Henley, though Black did allow him to continue as editor despite calling"ineffably duplicitous"
Johnson: “I would confide entirely in paragraph 5b, because that is – ”
says that the interim agreement Johnson expects to make with the EU to avoid tariffs after a no-deal Brexit would have to include a plan for the eventual free-trade deal he wants. There is no way this could be agreed by the end of October.
Johnson, after a moment’s bluster, replied: “The poorest come first; the poorest come first.” Those are words that will be thrown back at him – and his chancellor – again and again, just as Theresa May’s “burning injustices” were quoted at her. It is where Conservative rhetoric is always driven, by electoral necessity, but it is not always the direction in which the hearts of Conservative ministers beat.
Neil asked Johnson why he was confident parliament would allow a no-deal Brexit, and the future prime minister simply asserted that “my colleagues in parliament, all of us, will be able to work together to get something done, to get it across the line”.
Which left no time to press Johnson on how he would deal with legislation passed from the backbenches to prevent a no-deal Brexit, or on the possibility of re-enacting the English Civil War against parliament with him in the role of Charles I.
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This means that, if Johnson fails in his Brexit mission, as he is likely to do in the 100 days between 24 July and 31 October, Hunt could emerge from the maelstrom with his credibility enhanced, and could become leader of the anti-no-deal Tories.Read more: The Independent
Boris talking about political subjects. What a tragic situation to the UK! I never expected anything other than a crisis. Wisdom says 'leave good enough alone.' Did it need confirming?
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Opinion: Andrew Neil has ruthlessly exposed Boris Johnson as a phoney. But it won't make any differenceOpinion: Andrew Neil has ruthlessly exposed Boris Johnson as a phoney and a fraud. But it won't make any difference Respect your Prime Minister lefties. Let's make a trade.
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