Boris Johnson

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World-beatingly incompetent in every arena.
Stranded and dangling from a zip wire in Aug.2012[1]
... an actor in his own play, a charisma looking for an identity.
— Bobby McDonagh, Ireland’s ambassador to the UK (2009-2013), ref


Leave, WhosInWhosOut
Nov.2018: “We are going to stay effectively in large parts of the single market and that means it’s vassal state stuff.”
Jan.2013: “What most sensible people want is to belong to the single market but to lop off the irritating excrescences of the European Union.” What they said then and what they’re saying now, The Times, Oliver Wright, Nov.16.2018.

  • Feb.06.2019: ‘A special place in hell’: which Brexiters did Tusk have in mind? One of the prime promoters of the sunlit, unicorn-rich uplands that await once Britain has freed itself from the shackles of an EU on the brink of collapse, the former foreign secretary pledged Brexit would permit “continued free trade and access to the single market” while allowing the UK to “take back control of huge sums of money, £350m a week, and spend it on our priorioties such as the NHS”. The cost of leaving “would be virtually nil, and the cost of staying would be very high”, he observed during the referendum campaign. And of companies’ more practical concerns about the possible impact on their bottom line, he reportedly remarked: “Fuck business.” Brexit, Johnson proclaimed – quoting Shakespeare’s Brutus – was a time for Britain “not to fight against the tide of history, but to take that tide at the flood and sail on to fortune”. Jon Henley, The Guardian.
  • Sept.28.2018: Dear @BorisJohnson, There is no better Brexit when it comes to the Good Friday Agreement and Northern Ireland. As you still seem bamboozled by all this Paddywackery here’s a few pointers for your next stab in the dark - ... perfect primer for a complete moron. @PatricKielty, Twitter.
  • Jul.11.2018: Boris Johnson’s Brexit was never a dream. It was pure fantasy. It is not possible to understand Brexit without understanding that Brexit is, as Johnson called it, a dream. Many different dreams, in fact. For some it has been a dream of sovereignty, for others a dream of freedom, or of restored greatness and much else. There is nothing necessarily wrong or ignoble with dreams, or even some of those particular dreams. But in the end dreams exist in the imagination, not reality. They don’t put food on the table. They don’t balance the accounts. Dreams are never enough. The fundamental practical difficulty that all Brexiteers have faced since June 2016 is that dreams of this kind oversimplify a world full of complexity. Brexit was offered as a single liberating proposition, when in fact it involved multi-layered consequences and implications that require negotiation with others. It is hardly surprising that the May cabinet and the wider Tory party have struggled to come up with a defined view of Brexit because, in the end, Brexit isn’t a plan at all. It’s an attitude, not an agenda. It is more important for Brexiteers to “believe” in Brexit than to implement it. Too many Brexiteers don’t do practical at all. They despise it. They wallow in their superiority to mere detail. For Johnson, Brexit was just a stance, a way of getting attention. Johnson offered Britain his dream, but he has given Britain its nightmare. Martin kettle, The Guardian.
  • Jun.07.2018: Boris Johnson admits there may be a Brexit 'meltdown'. Foreign secretary also said he increasingly admired President Trump in leaked recording. Boris Johnson has warned of a Brexit “meltdown” and branded the Treasury the “heart of remain” in unguarded comments at a private dinner. At the gathering of the Conservative Way Forward, a Thatcherite campaign group, he said exit talks were approaching a “moment of truth”. He said he believed Brexit will happen and would be “irreversible” but the “risk is that it will not be the one we want”. ...recording obtained by BuzzFeed News, ... Johnson suggested the chancellor Philip Hammond’s department was “basically the heart of remain”. Mattha Busby, The Guardian.

Women and Mysogyny

  • Sept.08.2018: Boris Johnson allies fight back after divorce ‘leak’. Conservative Party activists have shrugged off news that Boris Johnson’s wife is seeking a divorce as his allies denied claims that it was leaked to clear the way for a leadership run. The former foreign secretary and his wife, Marina Wheeler, issued a joint statement yesterday confirming that they were parting after The Sun reported that they had separated. “Several months ago, after 25 years of marriage, we decided it was in our best interests to separate. We have subsequently agreed to divorce and that process is under way,” it read. “As friends we will continue to support our four children in the years ahead. We will not be commenting further.” list of Johnson's infidelities. Francis Elliott, The Times. Brief bio of Johnson's wife Marina Wheeler here.
  • Jul.08.2013: Boris Johnson Suggests Women Only Go To University To Find A Husband. Politicians have called Boris Johnson "nasty and divisive" after sexist comments he made in 2007 re-emerged. In a newspaper column, he said female graduates were to blame for rising house prices and children of working women are more likely to "mug you on the street". Jessica Elgot, HuffPost.

Admires Donald Trump

  • Jul.11.2018: Britain's Trumpocracy: who are the president's biggest cheerleaders? As the US president arrives in the UK, he will be met by ... a smaller number of cheerleaders whose enthusiasm for his leadership is matched only by their gift for self-promotion. The British Trumpocracy is still thriving – and ready for another moment in the limelight. One person that Donald Trump has indicated a desire to make contact with is Boris Johnson, with the US ambassador stating he will set up a meeting for Trump with Britain’s former foreign secretary – should the president wish to see him on his visit to the UK. Johnson used to be critical of Trump but last month told a meeting at the Institute of Directors in London that he was “increasingly admiring of Donald Trump. I have become more and more convinced that there is method in his madness.” more Alexandra Topping, The Guardian.

Arms Industry / War

  • Oct.03.2017: Boris Johnson says Libyan city has bright future 'once they clear the dead bodies'. The most recent offensive comment uttered was about Libya and the prospects for capital investment despite the carnage wrought by the civil war raging there. Johnson stated that he had British investors lined up to turn the town of Sirte into the next Dubai ‘after they’d cleared away the bodies.’ This cavalier reference to the police and civilians shot down in a battle with Islamist militants understandably upset a lot of people. It was even denounced in one of the Libyan parliaments. But the last thing I saw about it on YouTube had the headline that Boris wasn’t going to apologise. Lizzy Buchan, The Independent.

Liar and Cheat

  • Jul.10.2018: The English love a buffoon but the Boris Johnson joke went tragically wrong. t was true that I employed Boris through years during which he showed himself a dazzlingly entertaining journalist. But the joke went tragically wrong when Theresa May put him in the cabinet. The English have a weakness for clever buffoons, cards, turns. Boris’s admirers rejoice in his indiscretions. It is no contradiction that this vote of confidence is unsupported by most of those who know Boris well, starting with Michael Gove. Unkind rivals mutter that Boris’s dispatches enjoyed an uneasy relationship with the truth. He will say absolutely anything to man, woman or child that will give them pleasure at that moment, heedless of whether he may be obliged to contradict it ten minutes later. Second, having registered his wild-card status as a brand, he exploits it to secure absolution for a procession of follies, gaffes, idiocies and scoundrelisms, such as would destroy the career of any other man or woman in journalism, never mind govt. It is a common mistake to suppose Johnson a nice man. In reality he often behaves unpleasantly. His embrace of the Leave camp in 2016 was almost certainly decisive in securing the Brexit vote, though those who knew him best asserted that his decision was prompted by a cold calculation that the destruction of Cameron would open his path to the premiership. He is a man of remarkable gifts, flawed by an absence of conscience, principle or scruple. Should he ever achieve his towering ambition to become prime minister, however, a signal would go forth to the world that Britain had abandoned any residual aspiration to be viewed as a serious nation. Max Hastings, Johnson's former boss', The Times.
  • Jun.23.2018: Heathrow plan isn’t taking off just yet. Modelling yourself on “an inverted pyramid of piffle” takes effort. But at least Boris Johnson is giving it a go. The foreign secretary vowed to “lie down in front of bulldozers” to stop a third runway at Heathrow. He’s not even brave enough to lie down in front of the Tory whips — going Awol for Monday’s Heathrow vote. Greg Hands showed him how to do it, resigning from govt on principle. Isn’t the £14bn runway all about drumming up international trade: a project to “better connect the UK to the rest of the world”, as transport secretary Chris Grayling put it this month. So what’s the trade minister doing quitting over it — even if he is MP for Chelsea and Fulham? ... (see Heathrow re more.) Alistair Osborne, The Times.
  • Jun.05.2018: Heathrow third runway: Boris Johnson to be allowed to miss Commons vote on controversial expansion. The cabinet has approved plans for a third runway at Heathrow, but leading opponent Boris Johnson will be allowed to miss the vote. MPs will now consider the hugely-controversial expansion in as little as three weeks, following the rubber-stamping at this morning’s cabinet meeting. Mr Johnson, the foreign secretary, is expected to be conveniently abroad when the clash takes place despite vowing that the project “will be stopped”, branding it “undeliverable”. Today, Justine Greening, former education secretary and another key critic, urged Scottish and Northern MPs not to fall for claims that a third runway would benefit their areas. Ms Greening warned that the £18bn bill – plus up to £15bn for public transport improvements around Heathrow – would mean even less funding for transport in the rest of the country. Earlier this year, a committee of MPs said it should not go ahead without a ban on night flights and unless it could “avoid significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life from air quality”. Mr Johnson once promised protestors he would “lie down with you in front of those bulldozers and stop the building, stop the construction of that third runway”. Rob Merrick, The Independent.
  • Jun.27.2016: Why are we so surprised that Boris Johnson lied when he’s been sacked for lying twice before? As Mayor of London he promised to totally eradicate rough sleeping by 2012; it doubled under his leadership. His 2008 manifesto promised there would be manned ticket offices at every station; he closed all of London's ticket offices. He aimed to reduce transport fares; they increased by 4.2%. Pre-Brexit Johnson promised greater controls on the number of migrants entering the UK. The next week, he wrote that migrant numbers won’t fall. He also stated that the UK would continue to be a part of the European single market. That same single market that we would have to pay contributions to, and abide by rules set by the EU, in order to be a part of. During the Leave campaign, Johnson promised that much-contested £350m extra a week for the NHS. During his time as Brussels correspondent for The Daily Telegraph, a former colleague recalled that “Johnson’s half-truths created a new reality … correspondents witnessed Johnson shaping the narrative that morphed into our present-day populist Euroscepticism.” But then what did we expect from a man who has been fired not once but twice for lying? In 1988 the young Johnson was sacked from The Times for fabricating a quote in an article, and in 2004 he was “relieved of his duties” as shadow arts minister of the Tory Party for allegedly lying about an extra-marital affair. Kirsty Major, The Independent.
  • Apr.25.2018: Foreign Office climate staff cut by 25% under Boris Johnson. The prime minister says the UK leads the world on climate action, but Foreign Office officials dedicated to the issue have plunged since 2016. The number of full-time officials dedicated to climate change in the Foreign Office has dropped by almost 25% in the 2 years since Boris Johnson became foreign secretary. Johnson has also failed to mention climate change in any official speech since he took the office. The cutback in climate change diplomacy has come despite the prime minister, Theresa May, asserting that the UK leads the world on climate action. The UK has been praised for its past climate diplomacy, which helped pave the way to the landmark Paris agreement. Johnson gave an assurance that King’s work would continue under his replacement. But FoI documents show that the number of officials working full time on climate change fell from 72 to 55 between early 2016-2018, despite the issue being a “network-wide priority” across the UK’s diplomatic corps. Johnson has given speeches about ending the illegal ivory trade that drives the poaching of elephants and has ordered a ban on avoidable single-use plastics from the Foreign Office’s UK operations by the end of 2018. In a newspaper column in 2015, the hottest December ever recorded, Johnson cited climate change sceptic Piers Corbyn as saying “the whole global warming theory is unsound, to say the least”. Damian Carrington, The Guardian.

Poor People are Stupid People

  • Brexit and the Establishment - what you need to know. "Inequality is a valuable spur to economic activity." See 3:05. Another Europe is Possible, Youtube
  • Dec.01.2013: Well, Boris, it would seem you just failed the intelligence test. The London mayor's vision of society has disturbing similarities with Aldous Huxley's chilling Brave New World. "The real problem here is with the implied conclusion that the poor are poor because they are born stupid, the rich are rich because they spring from the womb destined to be that way, and there's nothing much anyone can do about it except to urge the wealthy not to be too "heartless" and let a few of the talented poor into the elite". The Guardian, Andrew Rawnsley
  • Nov.28.2013: Boris Blunder or Moral Self-Entitlement of South Easterners. Boris Johnson has caused a kerfuffle with his jibe "The harder you shake the pack the easier it will be for some cornflakes to get to the top". According to The Guardian, "Johnson mocked the 16% 'of our species' with an IQ below 85 as he called for more to be done to help the 2% of the population who have an IQ above 130". Johnson’s intention, according to The Independent was a call to "a new generation of Brits to embrace greed and snobbery as a 'valuable spur to economic activity' during a speech where the London Mayor paid tribute to Thatcherism". (Essentially, Johnson promotes an ethios of "Survival of the Fittest in the Concrete Jungle"), Rob Watson

Fitness for Public Office

  • Sept.28.2018: Potential threats waiting in the wings. Theresa May’s party conference speech is titled Campaign 2022 — but few think she will make it that far... Pitch: The candidate with the charisma and imagination that has been absent from the May years. Strengths: The public knows who he is and two mayoral election victories in a Labour city show he has broad appeal. Weaknesses: The public knows who he is but many know they don’t like him. The mayoral victories came before he took a clear stance in the divisive Brexit referendum. His two years as foreign secretary raised questions about his administrative capabilities. Backers: Conor Burns, who was his parliamentary private secretary, and Jake Berry, the Remain-voting Northern Powerhouse minister, are key organisational lieutenants. If he is to get on the ballot he will need to reach beyond the hard Brexiteers to less dogmatic pro-Leave MPs. Polling among Conservative voters: 48% think he would make a good leader. 45% dont. 5% are not sure and 2% don’t know enough about him. Henry Zeffman, The Times.] A man who has made a career out of abusing foreigners in print and thinking it funny. A man who has milked his wealth and privilege to exploit opportunities not open to others and then refuse to uphold any of the standards rightly expected of him in such a position. The one job where he got away with such infantile posturing was as Mayor of London, a post he was only selected for because he was a celebrity in the home of the media, and because he had lost his govt job for making abusive remarks about people from Liverpool, amongst many other things. Seth Ferris, New Eastern Outlook.

  • Jul.09.2018: The Guardian view on Boris Johnson’s resignation: good riddance to a national embarrassment. The Chequers agreement has now caused two – and there may be more – serious cabinet resignations: first of David Davis as Brexit secretary, then of Boris Johnson as foreign secretary. The deeper political question facing the Tories is clear too. Will the hardline leaver minority at Westminster allow Mrs May to govern with a new Brexit policy that leans rather more towards Europe? Or will they risk wrecking the Tories as a party of govt by seeking to prevent it? David Davis was an underwhelming Brexit secretary, and was marginalised by Downing Street in favour of Mrs May’s Brexit adviser Olly Robbins. He has not led recent negotiations, spending a mere four hours with the EU’s Michel Barnier since 2017. Giving his job to Dominic Raab, yet another all-too-brief appointment as housing minister, was designed to preserve the post-2016 cabinet Brexit balance. Mr Davis nevertheless resigned on a matter of policy principle. ... The same cannot possibly be said about the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson. Mr Johnson is the most overrated politician in Britain, especially by himself. He was an embarrassingly useless foreign secretary. He diminished Britain’s standing in the world and he diminished his own reputation by the way he played his role, not least by his praise for Donald Trump. He was simply not up to the job. But Mr Johnson does not do serious. He does self-interest. The govt is better off without him. The Tory party should not deceive itself that he is the answer to its problems. Editorial, The Guardian.
  • Jul.09.2018: Power, not Brexit, is behind Boris Johnson’s decision to quit. David Davis resigned overnight because he disagreed with May’s policy on customs and trade links with Europe. Johnson has now followed him because he wants to become prime minister. Davis resigned on an issue of principle; Johnson resigned on an issue of self-interest. That does not mean it will happen. Johnson is damaged goods in large parts of the Conservative party; any will be delighted to see him go. He has been a 2nd-rate foreign secretary. He bottled the issue on Heathrow, preferring to spend the day in Kabul rather than to vote the way he had said he would on the 3rd runway. He has praised Donald Trump, even as the US president set about destroying global rules and alliances. He has lost some of the allure that he once had as the Heineken Tory who could reach parts of the electorate that other Tories couldn’t. In some parts of the party he is now an embarrassment. In a recent poll of Tory members on May’s successor, Johnson polled fourth, behind Sajid Javid, Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg. The one thing that has not changed, though, is Johnson’s ambition. He may have a second-class mind and character, but he has a first-class ego. Even after he pulled out of the last leadership contest in 2016, he continued to see himself as a political figure above the prime minister and above the party. He can’t help himself in this respect. It’s simply the way he is. His self-regard is incontinent, just like Trump’s. Martin Kettle, The Guardian.
  • Jul.09.2018: Few at Foreign Office will mourn Boris Johnson’s departure. Johnson will be remembered for his gaffes. Distracted and discourteous, Johnson should never been asked to be foreign secretary. It is a reflection on Boris Johnson’s tenure as foreign secretary that he managed to blow up the Foreign Office’s big symbolic effort of 2018 designed to show the UK will remain an active participant in European affairs after Brexit. Less than two hours before he was to host a conference in east London highlighting how the UK remained committed to helping the fragile west Balkan states in their quest for EU membership, he decided to quit. It was just one more discourtesy in a profession dedicated to courtesy. The EU ambassador at 3pm tweeted impatiently “still waiting for our host”. more, + timeline"". Patrick Wintour, The Guardian.
  • Jun.10.2018: MPs have the chance to stand up to Brexit bullies with votes on Lords’ amendments. As Barack Obama suspected, Johnson is just Trump with better hair; an egotistical buffoon who flip-flops on important issues, believes his own publicity and focuses only on his own career. He is the worst Foreign Secretary seen in my lifetime. Johnson moved beyond a joke a long time ago. Yet this is the face of “global Britain” presented to the world. ... These are the flops, failures and frauds who insist that Britain must follow them into the unknown, after pulling off one shock victory in a referendum due to wider forces shaking our world. They preach democracy but practice demagoguery. Ian Birrell, The iNews.
  • Apr.05.2018: Boris Johnson has achieved the impossible: he’s been even worse than expected. List of Johnson's fuckups. Dishonesty, ineptitude, truculence and narcissism are the hallmarks of a man who ... George Eaton, The New Statesman.
  • Sept.21.2017: With a liar like Boris Johnson as foreign secretary how can Europe trust Britain? The UK depends upon its reputation for honesty, fairness and respect for the law. Johnson’s Brexit bill pronouncements are testing anglophiles’ patience. It is highly unusual for German mainstream politicians to say something rude or even forthright and so it should give Britain pause that the recently departed German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier broke with this custom when asked to describe his British counterpart. "Ungeheuerlich" was Steinmeier’s term: monstrous. Around the same time rumours began to spread that Steinmeier had told aides that he simply “cannot stand being in the same room” as Boris Johnson. The Guardian, Joris Luyendijk
  • Jul.13.2016: Boris BOOED at French ambassador's residence - despite SINGING La Marseillaise! And new Foreign Secretary's furious European counterparts CANCEL a dinner over his 'irresponsible' appointment. Making his first public appearance as British Foreign Secretary in London. The Mail Online, Matt Dathan
  • May.29.2013: He’s fathered a love child and had three affairs, but the British public still love Boris Johnson. Boris Johnson has a Teflon-like ability to shrug off political, personal and sexual controversy, underlined by a ComRes poll. By a majority of more than 5:1, voters say his fathering of a child as the result of an extramarital affair would not affect whether they would vote for him. A court ruled last week that the public had a right to know about the 3-year-old daughter he fathered with the art consultant Helen Macintyre. This followed the exposure 9 years ago of an affair with Petronella Wyatt, which resulted in an abortion and a miscarriage. Last week the Appeal Court said that Mr Johnson’s “recklessness” about pregnancy and the feelings of others while engaged in “extramarital adulterous liaisons” raised questions about his fitness for public office. Today Mr Johnson was tackled over a claim by Andy Coulson, David Cameron’s former press chief, that he was secretly waiting for Mr Cameron to “fail miserably”. Nigel Morris, The Independent.

Part-time Mayor

  • Jul.27.2012: Profoundly flawed, but that won’t stop Teflon Boris’s bid for Dave's job. ... And when his present employer paid him £250,000 a year to write one column a week — despite that having a clear conflict of interest with his political role — he dismissed the sum as "chicken-feed". ... The latest cost is the £35m bribe Boris has ordered to be paid to transport workers in London to ensure the city keeps moving during the Olympics — a bribe paid after weeks of mayoral rhetoric about how London would not be held to ransom by the unions and which then precipitated greedy demands by other greedy workers. Shamefully, he is a part-time mayor — as his lucrative weekly newspaper column, occasional books and TV programmes testify. There are too many doubts about his commitment, his judgment and, frankly, his reliability. And the people who harbour these doubts most strongly are Conservative MPs who have watched him at close quarters. The Daily Mail, Simon Heffer


  • Jul.09.2018: Yet again, Boris Johnson has exposed himself as a self-serving charlatan. The resignation of Boris Johnson as foreign secretary serves as a perfect metaphor for the tragedy and hypocrisy of Brexit. Here is the Old Etonian who placed himself at the helm of the people’s uprising against the establishment, but only after hesitating about which side to join. He once posed as a liberal, but now positions himself as a populist leader of hard-right nationalists. And he is a former London mayor who said he was in favour of the single market but has quit over the prime minister’s attempt to find a way for British companies to trade with Europe. But then Johnson only ever cared about one thing: himself. He is a self-serving charlatan with nothing but ambition coursing through his veins. ... Johnson has been a disruptive force for months, sabotaging efforts to find a common path through the Brexit maze. When terrorists attacked London last September, with casualties on a tube train and a bomber on the loose, his only thought was to grab headlines by staking out his leadership pitch with the publication of a risible manifesto for a hard Brexit. Do not be fooled by Johnson’s gags and classical quips, which only mask a calculating desperation for the top job. To appreciate the selfish cynicism of these people and their contempt for the electorate, witness the response by Steve Baker, another departing Brexiteer minister, when asked why Vote Leave did not warn people about the difficulties of departure. “In the course of the campaign people must select the arguments that they think will win,” he responded. ... The reality is these people sold a pup, had no expectation of winning and now their dreams are being dashed on the brutal rocks of reality. History will judge the Tories harshly over these events for, despite the pathetic behaviour of Labour’s leadership, they own this debacle. At a time of immense global uncertainty, David Cameron held a needless referendum to paper over party cracks, then bungled the campaign. The idea of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson as party leader and prime minister is a bad joke. Yet again, he has exposed himself as a man lacking principles who will sacrifice anything from his party to his country on the altar of his ambition. Ian Birrell, The Guardian. See also Max Hastings' piece on Johnson; Hastings was his former editor.
  • Feb.05.2016: Meet the new Tory MPs who are on track for the top. Taking the number of 2015 intakers to watch out for up to an unlucky 13 is a certain Boris Johnson, who is surely the most ambitious of the lot. In a recent attempt to win friends on the Tory benches, Johnson hosted a well-attended Christmas party at Mark’s Club in Mayfair. The London mayor and recently-elected MP for Uxbridge & South Ruislip has also been busy holding ‘curry evenings’ for MPs as part of his ongoing charm offensive. Total Politics, David Singleton
  • Martin Rowson cartoon here.

Air Pollution

"Boris's record as Mayor of London is appalling with regard to air quality. He has consistently avoided compliance with EU regulations on pollution and lied to the public about it."
©Andy Davey, 2015
  • Aug.31.2018: Boris bikes don’t improve health or reduce pollution. The reality is that such projects are “false solutions” and not living up to promises. They do not cut carbon dioxide emissions because vans are used to ferry the bikes back to docking stations. Despite claims to be environmentally friendly and to widen access to cycling, the schemes are not effective at improving health, reducing CO2 emissions, lessening road congestion or promoting transport. Bike docking stations frequently become empty and are topped up throughout the day by vans that contribute to pollution. When the bike share scheme was launched in London in 2010, money was taken away from funding cycling infrastructure and instead put into bike sharing because of its public popularity. This meant it was an easy and popular initiative when compared with providing more cycle lanes, which Dr Médard de Chardon said would create better environmental and social benefits. He added: “In reality, bike sharing schemes are a false solution. They look sophisticated and are technologically cool but they don’t create much useful or progressive change. It’s worrying that we are getting bike share schemes instead of concrete improvements to transport infrastructure.” He said that safer, widespread cycle lanes, secure bicycle parking and showers in workplaces can all contribute to a more positive cycling culture. Nicola Woolcock, The Times.
  • Boris Johnson. "Pollution levels in certain parts of the London Underground hugely exceed safe levels. Boris refuses to address EU threats of litigation. Cartoon, 2014
  • Apr.02.2012: Boris Johnson accused of trying to hide pollution levels before Olympics. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has been accused of “public health fraud” for ordering the use of “dust suppressants” to keep down pollution where official monitoring is carried out and thereby avoid millions of pounds in European Union fines. The solution acts like a glue, attracting particles of dirt, which stick to the ground rather than making dust. Simon Birkett, the director of Clean Air London, has pointed out that all of the sites are close to official air quality monitoring stations to measure the level of pollution in London. The Telegraph.
  • Dec.05.2012: The great Boris information smog. The Clean Air In London campaign: "The Mayor is lobbying the EU along with some of the most polluted cities in Europe to weaken laws that set minimum standards for public health across the whole of Europe". Dave Hill, The Guardian.


  • Mar.18.2018: Russia has stockpiled nerve agent over past decade, says Johnson. Boris Johnson has significantly escalated the row over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on British soil, saying that the govt has evidence Russia has been creating and stockpiling the deadly nerve agent novichok within the past decade. He said: "We actually have evidence within the last 10 years that Russia has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purpose of assassination, but has also been creating and stockpiling novichok". He made the claims on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. He was speaking in rebuttal of a counterclaim on the same programme from Vladimir Chizhov, the Russian ambassador to the EU, that British agents might have used stockpiles from the chemical weapons facility at Porton Down, which is about eight miles from Salisbury. Johnson admitted he had taken part in a £160,000 tennis match with Lyubov Chernukhin, the wife of a former Putin Finance minister, who won the match at a Conservative party fundraiser. She has donated a further £30,000 to sit beside the Defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, at another fundraiser. Anne Perkins, Patrick Wintour, The Guardian.
  • Mar.16.2018: 'Overwhelmingly likely' Putin ordered spy attack, says Boris Johnson. Boris Johnson has said it is "overwhelmingly likely" that Vladimir Putin personally took the decision to use a nerve agent to attempt to kill the former double agent Sergei Skripal on UK soil. Putin’s spokesman said Johnson’s accusation was unforgivable. "Any reference or mention of our president in this regard is a shocking and unforgivable breach of diplomatic rules of decent behaviour," Peskov said. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said "There is no record of the novichok group of nerve agents having been declared by a state party". The OPCW’s decision to disclose that Russia did not declare information about the existence of the novichok group of nerve agents will be seen as a boost for the British position. The Defence secretary Gavin Williamson used a speech in Bristol on Thursday to accuse Russia of "ripping up the international rulebook" through actions aimed at subverting other countries. Russia should "go away and shut up", he said when asked how the Kremlin should respond to the expulsion of 23 of its diplomats. Jessica Elgot, Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian.
  • Nov.04.2017: Boris Johnson in spotlight as questions raised over Russian influence on UK. Foreign secretary among three ministers targeted by people linked to FBI investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Moscow. Alok Sharma, a Foreign Office minister until June this year and MP for Reading West, confirmed he had met Mifsud “a couple of times”. Tobias Ellwood, then a senior minister in the Foreign Office. The Guardian, Carole Cadwalladr, Michael Savage
  • Oct.13.2017: Boris Johnson to visit Moscow as part of 'robust' dialogue'. Boris Johnson is to visit Moscow later this year as part of efforts to build a more constructive dialogue with Russia on global security issues. The foreign secretary has been invited by his counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Items on the agenda are likely to include North Korea, Iran and security for next year's football World Cup. The Foreign Office said the UK had "deep differences" with Russia but the visit was part of a policy of "sustained and robust engagement". BBC News, '
  • Oct.11.2016: Russia should be investigated for Syrian war crimes, says Boris Johnson. Russia should be investigated for war crimes in the Syrian city of Aleppo and risks becoming a pariah nation, Boris Johnson has said. Johnson called for demonstrations outside the Russian embassy in London. Emily Thornberry called for the UK to back the escorting of jihadi fighters out of eastern Aleppo, as had happened in Homs. Wael Aleji, a spokesperson for the Syrian Network for Human Rights, said: “Homs is not a good example, in fact it is resembles the failure of the international community to fulfill its duties. Using starvation and indiscriminate bombardment to force civilians into surrender is a barbaric action that amounts to a war crime.” Amnesty International. He called for an investigation into attacks on hospitals. Patrick Wintour, The Guarian.
  • May.10.2016: Boris Johnson blasted as an 'apologist' for President Putin as No.10 and Jack Straw slam his claim the EU was to blame for starting the war in Ukraine. Boris claimed 'what happened in Ukraine' was evidence for quitting the EU. In a Vote Leave speech, he said it was caused by an EU 'foreign policy'. No.10 today insisted only Russia was to blame for annexation of Crimea. EU politicians joined criticism and warned 'the Kremlin will be pleased'. The Daily Mail Online, Tim Sculthorpe

Only the Best for Boris

How he does love to spend Taxpayer £s...

  • Aug.15.2018: Boris Johnson trip on day of Heathrow vote cost taxpayer £20,000. The Foreign Office, in response to a freedom of information request from Scottish website The Ferret, said the cost of flights and visas for the three members of staff who accompanied the then foreign secretary on his trip was £19,366. While in Afghanistan, Johnson met the president, Ashraf Ghani, and had lunch with the deputy foreign minister, Hekmat Karzai. The govt refused to disclose the cost of sending Johnson on the visit, saying the information would be published “in due course” on the Foreign Office’s website. Johnson was widely criticised for missing the crucial Heathrow vote, having once promised to lie down in front of the bulldozers to prevent a 3rd runway being built at the airport, close to his Uxbridge constituency in west London. The govt comfortably won the Heathrow vote on Jun.26, by 415 votes to 119 – a majority of 296. Labour MPs were allowed a free vote. John McDonnell, shadow chancellor, said Johnson had “scuttled out of the country at the taxpayer’s expense rather than honouring his promise to his constituents”. Referring to the £275,000 per year Johnson has reportedly been paid for his column in the Daily Telegraph, McDonnell added: “Perhaps our former foreign secretary will consider using some of the money he earns insulting Muslim women with his lucrative £20,000-plus a month column to pay back the taxpayer.” Johnson ignited a furious row earlier this month with a column comparing women who wear burqas to “letter boxes” and “bank robbers”, but has declined to apologise, despite the threat of a party inquiry. Greg Hands resigned as a trade minister so that he could honour a promise to his constituents that he would vote against the govt’s Heathrow plans. Johnson resigned in July after deciding he could not support the Brexit compromise agreed by Theresa May’s cabinet at Chequers. He had initially signed up, but stepped down after Brexit secretary David Davis resigned. Some senior Conservatives, including former attorney-general Dominic Grieve, have said they could not remain members of the party if Johnson became leader. Heath Stewart, The Guardian.
  • May.22.2018: Boris Johnson wants a plane as PM's is rarely available – and too grey. Boris Johnson has suggested that Britain’s post-Brexit trade prospects could be bolstered if he had his own Foreign Office plane. Speaking in Buenos Aires, where he was on the 2nd leg of a 5-day visit to South America, the foreign secretary said the official Voyager aircraft, on which the prime minister travels, was rarely available – and not colourful enough. “The taxpayers won’t want us to have some luxurious new plane, but I certainly think it’s striking that we don’t seem to have access to such a thing at the moment,” he said. Johnson’s remarks follow his public support for a new royal yacht and a series of commemorative stamps, to “show the world we’ve got Brexit licked”. Johnson is using commercial airlines throughout his trip, apart from a flight from Lima into the Amazon rainforest, on which he travelled in the Peruvian president’s plane, equipped with walnut panelling and embellished napkins. David Cameron’s govt fitted out an RAF Voyager A330, at a cost of £10m, for use by senior ministers and the royal family – but Cameron used it only once before resigning the day after the 2016 referendum. Headline writers now call it “Theresa-jet”. Theresa May was forced to intervene last year in a row between Philip Hammond and Gavin Williamson over the use of military jets for govt business. Johnson said: “I hope you all let the people of Britain know, we sweat the assets in the Foreign Office to such an extent, mainly we use the Queen’s Flight, but I think the planes are now 30 or 40 years old. They are superb BAE146s – they are masterpieces of engineering.” Heather Stewart, The Guardian.
  • Feb.25.2018: How Boris Johnson has racked up soaring bills on specially chartered RAF planes costing the taxpayer £180,000. Boris Johnson loves the trappings of office so much he has hopped on specially chartered RAF planes to gallivant around the globe on 34 occasions in the past year – at a whopping cost to the taxpayer of £180,000. 9 trips were to Brussels or Paris, which is a 2-hour Eurostar ride away. "Never has a Foreign Secretary travelled so far, at such cost, for so little return," snarls Labour's Lord Adonis. The Mail Online, Black Dog
  • Dec.11.2012: Boris Johnson appoints Gerard Lyons as his chief economic adviser. London mayor criticised by assembly members for hiring City economist on a 30-hour week for £127,200 salary. Jenny Jones said "The mayor needs to spend less time rewarding his friends in the banks, and more time helping struggling small businesses. He already has several groups of economics and business advisers, there is no need to hire yet another part-time adviser on a six figure salary". Helene Hulholland, The Guardian.

Garden Bridge

How to waste £53 million of taxpayers' money not building a vanity project.

  • Dec.17.2018: 'I feel conned': garden bridge donors plan to sue over failed scheme. “The money was pissed down the drain by a bunch of incompetents and I feel conned,” said Michael Gross, the owner of Sydney and London Properties. Gross was critical of the charity’s trustees and Boris Johnson, who as London mayor was supportive of the garden bridge. "Boris has got a big mouth but he doesn’t deliver." Johnson has struggled to defend decisions he made, which critics say contributed to the scale of public losses. Private funders owed about £7m from charity behind abandoned London project. The Garden Bridge Trust is being wound up and, as part of the process, seeks £5.1m in final funding from Transport for London. Peter Walker, The Guardian.
  • Aug.23.2018: Call to spare taxpayers from £9m Garden Bridge bill. Up to £9 million of taxpayer money earmarked to cover the costs of cancelling the Garden Bridge should be withheld from the charity behind the project, the shadow transport secretary has said. The Department for Transport (DfT) agreed to underwrite the plans for the pedestrian walkway across the Thames 2 years ago, effectively insuring suppliers against the risks of the project being abandoned and allowing deals to be completed. The payment of up to £9m has been requested by the Garden Bridge Trust from Transport for London, its public-sector sponsor. It would take the total cost of the project, which was strongly supported by Boris Johnson as mayor of London, to the taxpayer to £46.4m, with £37.4m having already been provided by TfL and the DfT before the project was cancelled in Aug.2017. It has since been argued that members of the trust, including the actress and activist Joanna Lumley, may have breached their legal duties to act with reasonable skill and care, in which case there are potential legal grounds for the money to be withheld. Andy McDonald, shadow transport secretary, called for the request for the money to be rejected. Mr McDonald’s intervention follows repeated calls by his fellow Labour frontbencher Andrew Gwynne, shadow communities secretary, to hold a parliamentary inquiry into the attempt to build the Thomas Heatherwick-designed walkway between Temple and the South Bank. “Taxpayers are out of pocket by nearly £50m and there is very little transparency about how these public funds were used,” Mr Gwynne said. “Questions need to be asked why this project was allowed to spiral out of control.” Jonathan Morrison, The Times.
  • Jan.24.2018: Garden Bridge Trust refuses to hand over meeting records. Critics say the charity behind the aborted Garden Bridge has ‘gone rogue’ after it refused to provide its public sector sponsor Transport for London with records of its key decisions despite the loss of close to £50 million of taxpayers’ money. Will Hurst, The Architects Journal.


  • Jan.11.2019: Boris Johnson received £23,000 from Lynton Crosby strategy firm. Boris Johnson received £23,000 in loans and donations last month from CTF Partners, a company run by the Australian political strategist Lynton Crosby, official documents have revealed. Johnson also received a £3,000 donation from CTF Partners before Christmas. Johnson resigned as foreign secretary after the Chequers summit last July, when the cabinet agreed to a “common rulebook” for key sectors of the UK economy, tying Britain closely to EU regulations. He has since become a regular columnist for the Daily Telegraph, using the platform to to offer a strident critique of the government’s Brexit strategy. According to the register of MPs’ interests, Johnson receives £275,000 a year for the column, which he has estimated takes him 10 hours a month to write. Johnson was criticised in December after it emerged he had accepted a £14,000 trip to Saudi Arabia from the country’s foreign affairs ministry only a few days before the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in Istanbul. Labour MP and anti-Brexit campaigner Owen Smith said: “Brexit was always just a means to seize power for Johnson, Farage and the rest of them and there are always plenty of money men in the shadows ready to help them buy it.” Heather Stewart, The Guardian.

To Research

  • As Home Secretary Theresa May blocked use of the £200,000 water cannon, leaving them to languish in a depot in Kent. Poking fun at Boris Johnson's ambition to negotiate in the EU she joked: "I seem to remember the last time he did a deal with the Germans he came back with 3 nearly new water cannon! Daily Record
  • In a column for the Telegraph in May, Boris compared the EU to Hitler's Germany. He said the Union was planning to implement a superstate, just like Hitler. Daily Record
  • A trade visit to Israel by Boris Johnson when he was Mayor of London had to be cut short for short after he repeatedly criticised calls for a boycott of Israeli goods, describing the campaign as "completely crazy" and promoted by a "few lefty academics" in corduroy jackets pursuing a cause. Irish Post
  • The BNP's campaign literature describes the mayoral poll on May 1 as a "referendum" on Islam. One of its leaflets asks: "Are you concerned about the growth of Islam in Britain?" Another seeks to encapsulate the country's perceived decline in the shape of a photograph of a group of veiled women juxtaposed with a shot of an idyllic all-white 1950s Britain. The BNP's decision to align itself with Johnson is no accident. The Guardian
  • Why the BNP backs Boris. Islamophobia Watch
  • Chinese media attacks Boris Johnson for being 'rude, arrogant and disrespectful' at Olympic ceremony Mail Online
  • "It's worth noting a detail from his campaign to become London mayor. Ken Livingstone said he had to find savings for transport by closing some underground ticket offices, Johnson stood with a commitment that he wouldn't close a single ticket office. After he was elected, he closed all of them."


  • Dec.15.2018: Boris Johnson refused to leave government flat. Boris Johnson resisted Whitehall’s demands to leave his grace and favour residence for weeks after quitting as foreign secretary. Mr Johnson resigned from the govt over Theresa May’s Brexit plans on Jul.09, but did not move out of One Carlton Gardens, a large house in St James’s near Buckingham Palace, until Jul.30. Henry Zeffman, The Times.
  • Nov.19.2018: Boris Johnson's unused water cannon sold for scrap at £300,000 loss. London mayor Sadiq Khan fails to find buyer for crowd-control vehicles after lengthy search. Johnson bought the crowd-control vehicles from the German police in 2014, in anticipation of social unrest, without checking whether they could be used on London’s streets. In one of his most humiliating episodes as mayor, the then home secretary, Theresa May, banned them from use anywhere in England and Wales. It left the capital’s taxpayers with three expensive white elephants. Matthew Weaver, The Guardian.
  • Aug.19.2018: Boris Johnson’s Facebook page mobbed by racists after burqa furore. Boris Johnson is at the centre of a new row over racism after an investigation into online abuse revealed his official Facebook page hosts hundreds of Islamophobic messages... Caroline Wheeler, The Times.
  • Jan.24.2018: Taken for a mug by Boris. Tom Newton Dunn, political editor of The Sun, got his big break as a lackey for The Daily Telegraph, tells the Media Masters podcast, where one of his tasks was to get tea for Boris Johnson. "And get one for yourself," Boris would say as he handed his gopher his plastic payment card. Every day, without fail, TND would reach the till with two teas only to be told: "Sorry, love, there's still no money on that card." And every day he would buy it himself and Boris would apologise and then fail to top his card up. At least by the time their paths crossed as equals he was used to the broken promises. The Times, Patrick Kidd
  • Jan.05.2018: These Boris Johnson articles about 'hot totty' and 'tank-topped bumboys' show why he defended Toby Young. "Hot Totty" at the Labour party conference (1966). (more...) Business Insider.
    • 2018.01.05: Boris Johnson's 'Tank-Topped Bumboys' Comment Makes Him 'Unfit' To Be Foreign Secretary, Says Labour. Johnson’s comments about gay people and women made while working as a journalist were highlighted by Business Insider after he defended the appointment of Toby Young to the new universities regulator. Dawn Butler, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women + Equalities, said Johnson should not keep his job in Cabinet, HuffPost
  • 2018.01.04: If Boris Johnson thinks Toby Young is ‘witty’, he should remind himself of some of his tweets. Boris Johnson has come out in defence of journalist Toby Young. But perhaps Johnson should be reminded of some of Young’s tweets, which many would say are far from witty. The Canary, Sam Woolfe
    • 2000.04.18: Johnson attacked “Labour’s appalling agenda, encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools, and all the rest of it”. Spectator
    • 1998: Johnson said the resignation of Peter Mandelson from the then Labour government would cause "tank-topped bumboys" to "blub". Daily Telegraph
  • Oct.02.2017: Iain Dale’s 100 most influential people on the Right 2017. Foreign Secretary. Boris Johnson has tried to reassert his authority after a shaky few months but his recent article in the Telegraph on his optimistic vision for a post-Brexit Britain went down like a cup of cold sick in No.10 and most of the parliamentary party. It wasn’t a leadership bid, more of a ‘hey look at me, I’m still here’ piece. When he goes abroad, half the politicians he meets love him and the other half scratch their heads in bemusement. His stock in Parliament and in the wider voluntary Party appears to be on the wane, even if he is the only Conservative still to have rock star status. Well, apart from JR-M. Conservative Home, Iain Dale
  • Jun.11.2017: Boris Johnson removed London Bridge barriers because they were "ugly". Steel railings protecting pedestrians on London Bridge were removed by Boris Johnson after they were branded "ugly". Daily Star, Isobel Dickinson


  1. ^ Boris Johnson gets stuck on zip wire carrying two Union flags. Hannah Furness, The Telegraph, Aug.01.2012.