Boris Johnson leadership campaign rocked by revelations of vicious Trump smear made while addressing overseas audience just three months ago

by Patrick Sullivan, Political Editor on 5 July 2019 21:00


Frontrunner in the race to be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, finds himself in a fresh spot of bother today, as it emerges that he included U.S. President Donald Trump in a list of “nationalistic, xenophobic and reactionary phenomenon” only THREE MONTHS ago.


The U.S. President was listed alongside Vladimir Putin, the French Yellow Vest Protests (which saw violence break out on the streets of Paris, earlier this year), the anti-Vaccination Brigade and the Flat Earth Society.



Mr Johnson made his spectacular blunder, this March, during a speech to an exclusive conference in New Delhi, also attended by India’s Prime Minster Narendra Modi. To add insult to injury, the House of Commons Register of Members’ Financial Interests shows that the presumptive favourite to become the new head of the British government, was paid £122,899.74 to give the speech.


Boris Johnson’s career has certainly been no stranger to controversy, but as he seeks to move into Number 10 Downing Street, the iconic home to Britain’s Prime Ministers, he is trying to project a more sensible and sober image. The notoriously unkempt Mr. Johnson has even had a haircut.


Today’s new revelations are sure to give those in the governing U.K. Conservative Party, which is presently in the middle of a tumultuous leadership contest, fresh reason to pause and reflect before casting their vote for Boris.


Senior sources within the Republican Party have expressed dismay at the recent revelation but were keen to stress that Mr Johnson’s latest flub came as no great surprise. Those who had worked on the 2012 GOP presidential campaign claimed that the mere mention of his name still caused them to shudder to this day.


As Mayor of London, Mr Johnson thought it clever to mock Mitt Romney, the Republican party presidential nominee as “a guy called Mitt Romney”, while addressing a crowd at the London 2012 Olympics, asking the crowd to join along in ridicule of the standard bearer of one of America’s two main political parties.


Mr Johnson’s little routine was broadcast to an international audience across the world and was considered to be a gift from above. However, any lingering gratitude team Obama might have towards the odds-on favourite to lead Old Blighty through Brexit as none of those people will be the deciders when it comes to what sort of future relationship the UK has with its closest ally in the immediate aftermath of Brexit.


In 2015, as the race to become the next Republican presidential nominee and leader was heating up, Mr Johnson, soon to depart as London’s mayor, decided that one of his last actions when going out of the door, would be to attack the Republican front-runner with calculated comments with each word designed to inflict maximal damage upon the Donald J Trump for President campaign. In comments broadcast across the world, Mr Johnson claimed that Donald Trump betrayed “a quite stupefying ignorance that makes him, frankly, unfit to hold the office of President of the United States” and that he “wouldn’t want to expose Londoners to unnecessary risk of meeting Donald Trump”.


As the comments were made when President Trump was just Mr Trump, the newly elected President, in a move of great magnanimity, decided to overlook the comments made by Mr Johnson, by this point Britain’s Foreign Secretary. Mr Johnson aided this process when, in subsequent interviews, he had a more flattering appraisal of the president. Any good these overtures might have done were blown as soon as he betrayed his true feelings towards the American Head of State, to an audience of a mutual ally of both countries.


If Mr Johnson succeeds in his bid to become Britain’s Prime Minister, he is likely to find that his government will receive a far frostier welcome in Washington than has become the norm for the other partner, in what has hitherto been called, our Special Relationship.


Those who will be voting on who is he becomes the next Prime Minister should reflect on whether to vote for a candidate who consistently throws sand in the eye of their country’s strongest ally or the universally respected current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who has developed a strong rapport with President Trump.


This time when the Tory Party elects a leader; they may not be able to elect a leader that wrote the Art the Deal, but can we at least have a leader who’s read it.


Patrick Sullivan is the Political Editor of The Commentator @PatJSullivan

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