Andrew Bridgen: The public find Boris Johnson 'refreshing'

Sep 11, 2018, 01:22
Andrew Bridgen: The public find Boris Johnson 'refreshing'

A senior DUP figure has backed Boris Johnson's scathing attack on the prime minister's Brexit blueprint, which he said " wraps a suicide vest" around the United Kingdom constitution.

While the Mail on Sunday speaks of the furore caused by comments made by Mr Johnson in which he said Mrs May had wrapped a suicide vest around Britain and handed a detonator to Brussels.

The charismatic but gaffe-prone Mr Johnson is seen as a popular figure among the party's grassroots support but divides opinion among ruling party politicians.

Some commentators suggested Johnson's remarks were intended as a diversion from speculation over his private life, after he announced last week that he was divorcing his wife of 25 years.

He backed the Chequers proposals which he said represented "the only deal that we've got on the table".

Tom Tugendhat, former army officer and the Conservative chair of the foreign affairs committee of Parliament, attacked Johnson over his choice of words, saying: "A suicide bomber murdered many in the courtyard of my office in Helmand".

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire told Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday he thought Mr Johnson had used the wrong "tone" in the article.

While Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan said: "For Boris to say that the PM's view is like that of a suicide bomber is too much".

Johnson attacked the latest Brexit strategy - also known as the Chequers proposal - in the article, by saying it "keeps us subject to European Union rules for goods, for food, in practice for trade, and much else besides".

Allies of Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, have hit back after Downing Street was accused of compiling a "dirty dossier" created to damage his reputation. "I am not so sure".

"We look like a seven stone weakling being comically bent out of shape by a 500lb gorilla", Johnson wrote.

His personal life was back in the headlines today, with tabloids running stories about Mr Johnson's relationship with a former Conservative staffer.

He said comparing such an attack to the PM's plans "isn't funny", adding: "Some need to grow up".

"There is no justification for such an outrageous, inappropriate and hurtful analogy", Minister of State for International Development Alistair Burt added.

"I think he says things as a public political figure which a lot of people are thinking, that most people dare not tread". Grieve said Johnson's phrasing in the Mail on Sunday article was "entirely in character: crude but, for some, entertaining populist polemic."He said there was a lack of coherent thought in the article".

"I think that's reflected in the way we're being pushed around in the negotiations; we are the sixth biggest economy in the world, we are third or fourth biggest defence budget in the world, we are a world player, we've got the biggest soft power projection with the English language and our broadcast media in the world, and I think we've handled these negotiations particularly badly".

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