As Boris Johnson breaks his silence, voters are none the wiser

Lucy Skoulding looks at a rocky start to the week for the Tory front-runner...

Favourite for the Tory leadership position Boris Johnson has finally spoken out after accusations that he was staying out of the public eye too much.  

Johnson’s rival for the prime minister role Jeremy Hunt called the former Mayor of London a ‘bottler’ for declining a Sky News debate on Tuesday 25 June. He has finally broken the silence…though he’s still refusing to debate Hunt on TV.

Brexit is all ‘positive energy’

In an interview with the BBC on Monday, Johnson finally started talking more about his Brexit plans. He defended his aim to renegotiate a deal with the EU but was clear that he could not destroy the whole withdrawal agreement, a line that may anger some Eurosceptic hardliners.

When queried, Johnson said issues like the Irish border would be tackled after the UK formally leaves the EU in “what’s called the implementation period”. Yet he was forced to accept that the UK would get no such implementation period unless it signs up to the current withdrawal agreement.

“There’s no single magic bullet, but what there is, is a wealth of experience, a wealth of solutions and what’s changed now is that there is a real positive energy about getting it done,” the former Mayor of London said.

Potential prime minister already making mistakes

Johnson’s cautious return to the limelight has already seen him and his team making some major blunders.

A heated discussion between Daniel Kawczynski MP, who backs Johnson, and BBC Radio 5 Live’s Emma Barnett revealed that Johnson appears to have got facts wrong around whether free trade is possible under Gatt 24 in a no deal Brexit.

The BBC broadcaster pointed out Johnson “mumbled something” about Gatt 24, which everyone then had to look up, and whatever he said ‘is simply not true’ and is “a total misunderstanding of how we can leave on no deal”.

When asked if this is concerning, Kawczynski avoids the question for a while and when he eventually answers, he says he believes Johnson is correct, to which Barnett replies “you don’t believe facts”. Brutal.

Johnson’s meeting with Bannon completely ignored

Johnson’s meeting with far-right activist Steve Bannon has been completely ignored by the BBC and everyone is up in arms about it.  

The Observer obtained a video of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Bannon, talking about his relationship with our potential next prime minister and revealing he helped Johnson write the first speech he gave after resigning as foreign secretary, in which he ripped apart Theresa May’s Brexit plans.

In footage shot by American film-maker Alison Klayman, Bannon admits he and Johnson were in close contact, especially around the time he resigned.

Omid Djalili tweeted about the revelation: “Keep searching The BBC for any mention of Boris Johnson meeting Steve Bannon – nothing. I guess a man who could be our next PM blatantly lying about taking advice from a white supremacist is just not in the public interest.”

Johnson’s full interview with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg can be viewed here.

Lucy Skoulding is a freelance reporter at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter.

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8 Responses to “As Boris Johnson breaks his silence, voters are none the wiser”

  1. Tom Sacold

    We should be looking ahead to using Brexit to create a socialist Britain free from the constraints of the EU’s neoliberal Single Market.

    The Tories are beatable in a General Election and a Corbyn led Government can impose a proper socialist set of economic policies that would be declared illegal by the EU’s kangaroo court, the ECJ.

  2. Julia Gibb

    He who controls the media controls the people.
    Below is the World ranking on media trust
    https://rsf.org/en/ranking

    Why does no one ask why?

  3. Boffy

    I would have thought we have enough evidence that socialism in one country is a dangerous fantasy by now that always leads to disaster not to be pursuing such a fantasy again.

    The only way that Labour can win a General Election is by opposing Brexit, not acting as the Tories/Brexit Party second eleven.

    Instead of pursuing a dangerous, reactionary nationalist fantasy (Socialism In One Country) or promoting an electoral strategy that would be bound to see the Tories win a General Election, Its time Labour adopted a principled international socialist position of committing itself to stopping Brexit, to demanding a General Election to that end, so as to revoke Article 50, and which recognises that in today’s world, even a progressive social-democratic agenda, let alone a socialist agenda can only be won on the basis of a struggle of all workers across the EU.
    Marx said Workers of the World Unite, not workers of Britain cut yourself adrift from your European comrades on the basis of “I’m alright Jack”, and a race to the bottom.

  4. New billboard campaign highlights the worrying truth about this Tory leadership contest | Left Foot Forward

    […] Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt battle it out for the Tory leadership, posters from the grassroots group show that […]

  5. Patrick Newman

    Johnson makes no sense in his solution to the Brexit crisis but that won’t bother him at all. His only concern is to become Prime Minister and after he’ll figure something else out or be confident that something will turn up! Unless the EU capitulates and throws Ireland to the wolves Johnson will not deliver Brexit by 31st October and therefore be desperate to avoid a general election and this may even force him to do a deal with Labour and say Fcuk the ERG-DUP!

  6. Cole

    I wonder if Sacold is actually a Tory agent provocateur.

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