Boris Johnson launched his Conservative leadership campaign earlier today by pledging to end the Brexit “disillusion and despair” by taking the UK out of the EU on 31 October, but not before emphasising his intention to “unite the country.”

In response, Tottenham MP David Lammy has pointed to the leadership hopeful’s past disparaging comments about black people and Muslim women, and wrote a scathing retort.

Taking to Twitter, Lammy said: “Boris Johnson says with a straight face he will "unite this country and unite this society."

The same man who described black people as ‘piccaninnies’, mocked Muslim women as ‘bank robbers’ and peddled lies throughout the referendum.

Britain deserves so much better than this.

Lammy is referring to comments Johnson has made in the past, referring to Muslim women who wear the burkha as “letter boxes” and “bank robbers” and in a 2002 Telegraph article, used offensive terms to describe black people.

Johnson has a history of racist remarks. In an August 2018 column for the Daily Telegraph, Johndon wrote that women who wore the religious dress looked like “letter boxes” and “bank robbers.” He went on to suggest that it was “absolutely ridiculous that people would choose to wear “oppressive” religious headwear.

After Barack Obama, then US president, intervened in Britain’s EU debate, Johnson suggested the then US president had an “ancestral dislike of the British empire” because he was “part-Kenyan.”

His comment was widely condemned for being “dog whistle racism.”

Boris only answered six question (Picture: Tolga Akmen / AFP) 

The Tory leadership candidate also drew criticism for dodging a question about taking cocaine, despite previous admissions that he had taken the drug when he was at university.

Asked directly on whether he had ever taken cocaine, Johnson replied: "I think the canonical account of this event when I was 19 has appeared many times and I think what most people in this country really want us to focus on is what we can do for them and what our plans are for this great country of ours."

Questioned on whether he had ever done anything illegal, Johnson said: "I cannot swear that I have always observed a top speed limit of 70mph."

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)