Boris Johnson just had a terrible interview, but he's not being treated like Diane Abbott was

Louis Dor
Thursday 22 June 2017 10:15
Celebrities

Boris Johnson yesterday struggled to answer basic questions about the Queen's Speech during a radio interview with Eddie Mair on BBC Radio 4.

When asked what Theresa May's Queen's Speech would do to tackle racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, Johnson said (to the background noise of shuffling papers):

Well there are measures, I believe in the bill on the courts which I think is supposed to address some of those issues.

I think one thing in particular that we are looking at is measures to ... Hang on a second ... There are all sorts of measures that we want to take to ensure that we do not discriminate against everybody.

He was then asked a question about mental health care.

Johnson attempted to return to the previous question, at which point Mair interjected:

It’s not a Two Ronnies sketch. You can’t answer the question before last.

He was later asked what the point of the Prime Minister was, when she could not deliver on so many of her manifesto pledges.

He replied:

The point of the Prime Minister is to lead the country, to give a ...er... lead on these key issues ...and to take this Queen's Speech through.

And she will, and she will do a great job.

He also, hypocritically, called for an end to personal attacks in politics.

His performance was quickly condemned as poor.

People also compared his interview performance to a number of interviews given by the Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott during this year's election campaign. Ms Abbott gave a number of interviews which were described by many as appalling - she was later forced to step down from her role citing ill health.

Some people, like former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, criticised the BBC for not running the clip on news programmes (incorrectly).

The clip ran on Newsnight, and the original interview itself took place on Radio Four with Eddie Mair.

The interview was also subject of a number of BBC articles online:

It's popular to bash the BBC these days as partisan (in both directions, without a hint of irony) but the quotes literally went out on Radio Four.

Diane Abbott increased her vote by 12.2 per cent at the election, enjoying a landslide.

Boris Johnson increased his share of the vote but his majority narrowed by 13 per cent.

More: Diane Abbott's landslide victory is the best response to her critics

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