How other politicians describe new Tory leader and new prime minister Boris Johnson

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Wednesday 24 July 2019 08:15
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Earlier today Boris Johnson was announced as the leader of the Conservative party and he will be taking up his position as prime minister following Theresa May's resignation.

Though he won 66 per cent of the votes in the Tory party, of the members who voted, his appointment has been riddled with controversy for previous comments he has made about black people and Muslim women, as well as for his plan to leave the EU even in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

As he prepares to step into Number 10, people who knew and worked with the PM-to-be have come out and spoken about him.

Max Hastings, his editor at The Times during his stint as a journalist, said during an interview for the BBC’s Panorama: “Boris’s relationship with integrity and truth, and with the right moral standards has always been a bit uncertain to put it politely”.

Though he has said Johnson is “absolutely terrific at telling people what they want to hear,” he has argued that his former employee is unfit for national office, writing recently of his “moral bankruptcy, rooted in a contempt for truth”.

Politicians have had mixed views about Britain’s upcoming prime minister, with some condemning his past work and expressing doubt in the future, as others praise him.

David Lammy, Labour MP

David Lammy, prominent Labour supporter of a Final Say referendum, said:

One theme runs through Boris Johnson’s career like letters through a stick of rock: that he will say anything to get what he wants and cares little or nothing about the consequences when he lets people down

That is as true of his approach to Brexit as it is to everything else. He has made six big promises to people about what Brexit will mean, but it is now very clear he has little or no intention of keeping all or any of them.

Instead of working to deliver his promises on trade, on security, on the Northern Ireland border, on money for the NHS, on consumer protection and on clarity about the future, Johnson will instead claim today that his election to the position of Conservative leader by the 0.25 per cent of the population who are Tory members gives him a mandate for a reckless and extreme hard Brexit or even a destructive no deal.

Ken Clarke, Westminster's longest-serving MP

Westminster’s longest-serving MP, Ken Clarke criticised Johnson as foreign secretary and told the BBC:

[Boris Johnson] was a disaster.

The diplomats were driven up the wall. He didn’t read the brief. The only thing he worked at were the photo opportunities at foreign meetings…

Quite the most hopelessly irresponsible foreign secretary, I’ve ever known from any party.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit chief called him out for “false promises and pseudo-patriotism”

Britain’s next prime minister was “a man who continues to dissemble, exaggerate, and disinform the public about Brexit”.

“To those of us watching from the outside, the debate between the candidates confirms that they have learned nothing whatsoever from the past two years of negotiations with the EU,” Mr Verhofstadt wrote in a piece for the Project Syndicate website.

Sadly, this comes as no surprise, given that the lead candidate is Boris Johnson, the Leave campaign’s most prominent architect and a man who continues to dissemble, exaggerate, and disinform the public about Brexit.

As is often the case with populists, reality does not square with Johnson’s ensorceling combination of false promises, pseudo-patriotism, and foreigner bashing.

Green Party MEP Magid Magid condemned his “two-faced Trump-approved politics”

Paul Williams, Labour MP for Stockton south was among a chorus of people calling Johnson a “liar”

Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party called him a “racist”

Germany’s Elmar Brok, a senior MEP from the chancellor's CDU party said he liked Johnson personally but warned he cannot be trusted

“I have fun with him. We’ve had many cigars and whisky in our lives together,” he said in an interview with parliament's The House magazine.

As someone who was a journalist here, who was not very often very close to the truth when he was at the Daily Telegraph, when he invented stories – he has not changed.

He added: "It’s fun to talk to him – it’s really fun to talk to him, intellectual fun. But to run a country?”

Not everyone had negative things to say about the PM-to-be.

US State Department spokesperson almost laughs after he learns that Boris Johnson was appointed Foreign Secretary back in 2016

Mark Toner appeared to be fighting back laughter as he was told the news during a press conference, and made rather pointed statement in response to a question about what he thought of Boris and his new role.

We’re always going to be able to work with the British, no matter who is occupying the role of the Foreign Secretary because of our deep abiding special relationship with the United Kingdom.

Kit Malthouse, who was deputy mayor for policing praised his tenure as mayor of London

According to Malthouse, Johnson succeeded in:

tackling poverty, cutting crime - particularly knife crime, building the homes people need and delivering a cleaner, greener city.

James Cleverly, who worked with Johnson as a London Assembly member, said he ran a "successful executive operation"

I know he can run a successful executive operation because I was part of the team who did that in London for eight years.

Johnson does have one unequivocal fan...in US president Donald Trump

Speaking to reporters at the White House just days before the results of a vote by members of the British Conservative Party will determine the country’s next prime minister, Trump said he had spoken to Johnson a day earlier.

“I like Boris Johnson,” he said, claiming Ms May had done a “poor job” with Brexit. “I think Boris will straighten it out. A lot of people say Johnson is a different kind of guy.”

Earlier this year he said, “he’s been very, very nice to me, very supportive”.

As he made his way to Britain for a state visit he told The Sun newspaper: “I think he is a great representative for your country. I am just saying I think he would be a great prime minister. I think he’s got what it takes".

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