Boris Johnson’s own words make him “a racist, sexist, misogynist, homophobic, liar” who is “unfit to hold the office of Prime Minister”, according to opponents who have seized on newly unearthed comments made by the PM when he wrote for The Spectator magazine.
Johnson has also been slammed as a “bottler” given increasing speculation that his head-to-head interview with the BBC’s Andrew Neil will not go ahead.
The stories emerge as a YouGov MRP poll gives the Tories an 11 point lead over Labour, which if replicated in the December 12 general election, would give Johnson a 68 seat majority – and thereby the authority to do pretty much whatever he wants.
The newly revealed comments by Johnson – about single mothers and a “Nigerian interest in money” – were made when he worked as a journalist and editor and have added to the pile of highly offensive and controversial remarks made by the PM.
Johnson’s comments – ‘deeply racist and offensive’
While editor of The Spectator Johnson wrote a column about shifting attitudes to wealth under Tony Blair’s government, and stated: “All the young people I know – ie those under 30 – are just as avaricious as we flinty Thatcherite yuppies of the 1980s – in fact, they have an almost Nigerian interest in money and gadgets of all kind.”
Stand up to Racism’s Weyman Bennett said the comments were “deeply racist and offensive” and told the Guardian: “This can be added to the ‘piccaninnies’ and ‘watermelon smiles’, the abject refusal to properly apologise and change his behaviour around racism.”
Bennet continued: “Boris Johnson is unfit to be a prime minister that represents the entire United Kingdom. He had demonstrated this by lying and falsely representing black, Asian and different communities inside this country.
“This is deeply offensive and unforgivable and should not be ignored and he should be held to account.”
Johnson on single mothers and their ‘ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate’ children
Another column in The Spectator in 1995 gave Johnson the space to brand the children of single-mothers as “ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate” arguing it was “feeble” for a man to not “take control of his woman.”
Johnson wrote that “uppity and irresponsible women” had a “natural desire to have babies” and blamed social housing as “an enticement” for them.
Working class men are “likely to be drunk, criminal, aimless, feckless and hope- less, and perhaps claiming to suffer from low self-esteem brought on by unemployment, “ said Johnson, adding: “If he is white collar, he is likely to be little better.
“It is no use blaming uppity and irresponsible women for becoming pregnant in the absence of a husband. Given their natural desire to have babies, and the tininess of what the sociologist William Julius Wilson has called the ‘marriageable pool’, it is the only answer.”
Johnson said the government of the time did not have “the courage to make the cuts in the safety net of the viciousness required to provide anything like such a deterrent.”
PM’s ‘contempt for women and families’
Labour’s Shami Chakrabarti, the shadow attorney general, said: “These unearthed comments further reveal Boris Johnson ’s contempt for women and families, as he hypocritically attacks what he appallingly describes as ‘illegitimate’ children.”
She added: “Someone whose attitudes towards women are straight out of the dark ages is not fit to be prime minister of our country.”
‘Bank robbers, letterboxes and tank-topped bum boys’
Only last year Johnson described burka wearing Muslim women as looking like “bank robbers” and “letterboxes”.
During the BBC Question time special last week, an audience member said to Johnson: “You have contributed to race hate. Will you accept that and apologise?”
The PM replied: “I have written many millions of words in my life as a journalist and I have… genuinely never intended to cause hurt or pain to anybody”.
Fiona Bruce, the BBC presenter then reminded Johnson of a litany of controversial comments including the homophobic “tank-topped bum boys” remark, to which Johnson laughed and replied that people can always find things “which may look offensive” when taken out of context.
“If you go through all my articles with a fine-tooth comb and take out individual phrases there is no doubt that you can find things that can be made to seem offensive and of course I understand that,” said Johnson.
‘Liar Johnson is dragging the office of PM through the mud’
Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson will today brand Johnson “a liar” who is dragging the office of PM “through the mud”.
Her speech will outline why he cannot be trusted with Swinson saying: “Boris Johnson only cares about Boris Johnson. And he will do whatever ity takes, sacrifice whatever is needed, to get want he wants.
“This is a man who decided which side to support in the EU referendum by game-playing whether it would get him the keys to Number 10.”
Swinson will tell voters “you cannot trust a word Boris Johnson says” because he will say anything to get what he wants.
“He lied to the 3 million other EU countries’ citizens in the UK when he told them he would guarantee their right to stay.
“He lied when he said that no Conservative Prime Minister would ever put a border down the Irish Sea.
“He lied when he said over and over that we would leave the European Union by 31 October.
“He lied when he said he would rather be dead in a ditch than ask for an extension to Article 50 .
“Well, there might not be a ditch, but Boris Johnson has dragged the office of Prime Minister through the mud.”
PM – ‘This is f***ing untrue’
In September Johnson was accused of “squeezing” the thighs of two female reporters at the same “boozy” lunch by Charlotte Edwardes, who said she “has a better memory than he does” about the “under the table” incident.
The Sun reported that a “raging” Johnson emphatically denied Edwardes’ claims, saying “this is f***ing untrue”, yet Tory health secretary Matt Hancock said: “I know her and I know her to be trustworthy”, moments before the denial.
Johnson has also been dogged by his relationship with the US businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri throughout the campaign. The PM has been referred to a police complaints body over claims surrounding his failure to “declare an interest” about his relationship with Arcuri who received public funding and attended international events with Johnson during his time as London mayor.