Boris Johnson fails to name local Tory mayor despite campaigning for him

Kate Plummer
Monday 19 April 2021 15:36
Politics
(Jonathan Buckmaster/Daily Express/PA Wire)

Boris Johnson was today unable to name one of his political colleagues.

Speaking to PA, the prime minister was unable to name the current West of England mayor - despite him being a Conservative who he has met.

When quizzed he merely said: “I’m very much in favour of powerful mayors in the West of England and elsewhere but what I want to see is a strong Conservative mayor in London and across the West Midlands and the West of England and across the whole of the country.”

Conservative Tim Bowles was elected in 2017 as the region’s first mayor. He is stepping down next month, after his first term, with four candidates running to be his successor. The Conservatives have selected businessman Samuel Williams to contest in the election.

And when Johnson was reminded that Bowles was one of his political kind, he said:

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“I’ll be out campaigning for the West of England mayor and all Conservative candidates throughout the weeks ahead.”

“It’s very confusing for people isn’t it?” the reporter then asked, speaking about the numerous regional elections taking place on 6 May.

“It is. It is. It is confusing,” Johnson admitted before suggesting voters should vote Conservative.

And reacting to the clip, viewers were unsurprised that Johnson has blundered his way through the interview. One said:

While another said:

This incident also come as a blow to Bowles, who has regularly expressed support for Johnson and most certainly knows who he is:

Indeed, in 2019, Bowles hosted Johnson while he was campaigning for the general election, to show him facilities at the Bristol Port Company’s facility at Avonmouth.

Posting on Facebook, Bowles said: “We discussed the vital importance of global trade to our economy, both now and in the future. We also emphasised to the Prime Minister how, as the UK’s first Western deep sea port, our region is ideally placed to take full advantage of future trade deals, bringing jobs, growth and wealth to our area and would be an ideal location for a Free Port.”

Clearly, the conversation wasn’t memorable for Johnson.

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