The photo that sums up the open secret of why Boris Johnson really resigned

Theresa May and Boris Johnson
James Wright

Photos featured in the Telegraph on 10 July sum up the open secret of why Boris Johnson really resigned. The outgoing foreign secretary arranged for a photo shoot of himself signing his resignation letter.

Labour MP David Lammy has some colourful language describing what such behaviour suggests:

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The open secret

Johnson claims that he resigned because the prime minister’s Brexit proposals are too watered down, going as far as saying that the UK is “headed for the status of colony”.

But the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip has been remarkably inconsistent in his views about the EU. In fact, Johnson argued fundamentally on the opposite side of the debate almost up until the 2016 EU referendum.

As late as February 2016, Johnson said:

leaving would cause at least some business uncertainty, while embroiling the Government for several years in a fiddly process of negotiating new arrangements, so diverting energy from the real problems of this country – low skills, low social mobility, low investment etc – that have nothing to do with Europe

Only a month later and Johnson and his advisors had apparently reinvented the millionaire Conservative as a Brexiteer Tory leader in waiting. In March 2016, Johnson had changed his tune indeed:

ignore the pessimists and the merchants of doom. I think we can strike a deal as the Canadians have done based on trade and getting rid of tariffs. It’s a very, very bright future I see

So it’s no wonder people are throwing shade at Johnson’s Telegraph photoshoot:

And people are seeing right through the whole resignation performance:

Reinventing himself as a Leave figurehead

Upon becoming an overnight leader of Leave, Johnson said in March 2016:

Britain leaving the European Union would be like a prisoner escaping jail

Yet only a handful of months before, in August 2015, the descendant of King George II said:

My ideal world is, we’re there, we’re in the EU, trying to make it better.

Johnson could not go for the Conservative leadership on a Remain ticket against David Cameron nor current prime minister May. The only thing consistent about his views on the EU is what is politically convenient to advance his career at the time – as the photos in the Telegraph suggest. Of course, Johnson could only get away with such behaviour on the back of a biased corporate media, which still takes his comments at face value:

Johnson was an embarrassment to the country as foreign secretary. While we should be happy he’s gone, the prime minister has simply reshuffled another millionaire aristocrat into his position. We need to demand a general election and bring down this entire Conservative government, fast.

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Featured image via UK Prime Minister/ Flickr and UK in Japan- FCO/ Flickr

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