Boris Johnson listens to a question during the launch of his leadership campaign in London on June 12, 2019 | Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images
Boris Johnson: I won’t tone down my language
Former foreign secretary and leadership hopeful predicts ‘a sense of duty’ would mean MPs would not block a no-deal Brexit.
Updated 6/12/19, 5:22 PM CET
LONDON — Tory leadership front-runner Boris Johnson vowed to continue to “speak directly” to voters in a robust response to the charge that he has regularly used careless and offensive language.
Speaking at a launch event for his campaign in London, the former foreign secretary was challenged over an article in which he compared Theresa May’s Brexit deal to a “suicide vest” and another in which he drew parallels between Muslim women and “bank robbers” or “letter boxes.”
“Occasionally some plaster comes off the ceiling as a result of a phrase I might have used,” he said in response to a question from Sky journalist Beth Rigby, who was booed by Johnson supporters.
But Johnson vowed to continue with his straight-talking style. “I will continue to speak as directly as I can because that is what I think the British public want to hear,” he said, adding that voters are sick of politicians “muffling and veiling our language; not speaking as we find; covering everything up in bureaucratic platitudes.”
He was twice asked about alleged past illegal behavior, but attempted to dismiss both questions. First he admitted that he has not always observed the speed limit.