Boris Johnson has been called sexist after he described David Cameron as a “girly swot” in a handwritten note.
The comment came from a set of private cabinet papers that have been released in a court case on the prime minister’s decision to suspend parliament until mid-October.
Johnson’s “insult” was originally redacted from the papers but Sky News managed to get hold of the full document.
In his explanation for suspending parliament, Johnson wrote:
The whole September session is a rigmarole introduced by girly swot Cameron to show the public that MPs are earning their crust.
Johnson has called Cameron a “girly swot” before, in a 2013 interview for the Evening Standard, but he wasn’t the prime minister then so no-one paid much attention to it.
With this latest leak coming days after he was criticised for calling Jeremy Corbyn a “great big girl’s blouse” in parliament, politicians have once again accused Johnson of sexism.
Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and prominent Labour MPs Emily Thornberry and Yvette Cooper were among those who condemned the prime minister’s comment.
Why Johnson thinks being compared to a hardworking woman is an insult is unclear.
And why he thinks it's acceptable for a 55-year-old man to speak like that is a mystery.
It’s also very generous to claim Cameron was studious…
Journalist Henry Zeffman was left wondering why the government was allowed to redact “girly swot” from the court case.
Apparently, public embarrassment is a good enough reason to withhold government information.