Boris Johnson insists he can be trusted with ‘the great Lady Britannia’

Support us and go ad-free

Boris Johnson has insisted he can be trusted with ‘the great Lady Britannia’.

The Tory leadership candidate defended his “chequered private life” at a hustings in Carlisle.

Mr Johnson, who saw his support dip after police were called to his home by neighbours after a late night row with his partner, was quizzed about his reliability by a Tory member.

“We know a lot of people have a worry about reliability with Boris and I think that’s the Achilles’ heel, with the chequered private life, can we trust you with the great lady Britannia?” the member asked.

The questioner added that the Conservatives’ “perfect leader” would be an “amalgam” of Mr Johnson and his rival Jeremy Hunt.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Mr Johnson replied: “Don’t look at what I say I do, look at what I do.”

He pointed towards having “over delivered” on his promises as mayor of London, the 2012 Olympics and his record on action over the Skripal poisonings in Salisbury.

Tory leadership race
Mr Johnson speaking in Crooklands in Cumbria (Peter Powell/PA)

“When it comes to negotiations across the world, after the Skripal poisonings in Salisbury we were tasked in the Foreign Office of trying to get some other countries, at least some, to expel Russian spies in support of the UK,” he said.

“And we thought we would be lucky to get 10 expelled around the world

“Actually because we got on the phone, I personally got on the phone to a lot of my friends in other European capitals and elsewhere, we got 28 countries to expel 153 Russian spies.”

Rival candidate Jeremy Hunt had his own trustworthiness questioned by the audience.

Tory leadership race
Conservative party leadership contender Jeremy Hunt speaking during a Tory leadership hustings at Carlisle Racecourse (Ian Forsyth/PA)

When asked why he could be trusted to deliver Brexit when Theresa May had promised to leave the EU by March 29 more than 100 times and failed, Mr Hunt said he would not repeat her mistakes.

He said: “I’m going to do something very different from Theresa May, two things.

“First of all I’m not going to be trying to get her deal through the House of Commons… We should not have a deal which traps us in the Customs Union until the EU gives us permission to leave.

“I will be putting forward a deal that is different to Theresa May’s deal.

“And this is the really important change, I’m going to have a negotiating team that has in it people from different parts of the Conservative-DUP alliance that means that Brussels knows that what we promise to Brussels we can deliver through Parliament.”

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us