Jacob Rees-Mogg backed Boris Johnson as ‘the one’ to “unite” the Conservative Party. But Rees-Mogg’s backing came just days before Johnson deleted a clanger of a tweet about voting in the local elections.
“I just voted Conservative”
On 2 May, Johnson proudly declared, “I just voted Conservative in the local elections” on Twitter. But there were no local elections in his Uxbridge constituency. Johnson swiftly deleted his tweet. However, things are pretty difficult to hide on social media, and it didn’t take long for this news to travel far and wide:
Boris Johnson (former mayor and current resident of London) tweeted that he just voted in the local elections.
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) May 2, 2019
Johnson’s aides have since claimed that he actually voted “near his second home in Thame in South Oxfordshire”. But many people questioned why he deleted the tweet so fast. As a political correspondent for the Times commented:
I think because as the MP for Uxbridge it's not great to admit that you spend lots of time not in Uxbridge
— Henry Zeffman (@hzeffman) May 3, 2019
Other people also asked why he deleted the tweet so fast:
the fact that he deleted it implies his intent was that he wanted to give the impression he voted in the non existent local London elections. Otherwise there was no reason at all to delete it 1 min later.
— CyberRaja (@CyberRaja) May 3, 2019
Just days before, speaking to Sky‘s Sophy Ridge, Rees-Mogg declared:
I think [Johnson] could unite the party and win an election.
Admittedly, Rees-Mogg said this before the ‘confusion’ over Johnson’s voting. But trusting his integrity is difficult. Because Johnson’s lied too many times before. In fact, as Labour’s David Lammy noted:
Boris Johnson is a compulsive liar. You cannot trust a single word he says. https://t.co/eam9kPRPYK
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) May 3, 2019
He’s a liar, liar…
And Lammy has a point.
In Johnson’s regular Telegraph column, he claimed that a no-deal Brexit was “gaining in popularity” and had the most support from the British public. In April, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), forced the Telegraph to issue a correction. IPSO said Johnson’s claim amounted to “a significant inaccuracy, because it misrepresented polling information”.
And let’s not forget Johnson’s famous declaration during the EU referendum. He famously burned a £350m cheque claiming that’s how much we send to the EU every week, and promised that money would go to the NHS. According to i News, a “senior Vote Leave staffer” said this helped “to swing the referendum result”. Although debunked, in 2017 he still insisted, “once we have settled our accounts, we will take back control of roughly £350 million per week”.
As The Canary reported in 2018, Johnson lied three times in one speech over his comments about Turkey in the Brexit referendum campaign. The discredited ‘threat’ of Turkey joining the EU was a key argument for Brexiteers.
Before the EU referendum, Johnson also played a leading role in spreading “euromyths”. He claimed the EU threatened everything from sausages and cheese to bananas. A former Telegraph colleague said that “Johnson’s half-truths created [a] new reality.”
It doesn’t stop there. The Times fired him for lying in 1988. In 2004, he lied about an extra-marital affair and lost his position as Conservative shadow arts minister. And then there are his continued offensive racist comments.
This isn’t the first time Rees-Mogg’s shown unwavering support for Johnson. But while so many questions about Johnson’s integrity remain, the last thing anyone should be doing is proposing he could become the next PM.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?