Boris Johnson attacks 'mutton-headed mugwump' Jeremy Corbyn

Posted On: 
27th April 2017

Boris Johnson has told voters to fight any feelings of sympathy for “mutton-headed old mugwump” Jeremy Corbyn, warning that the Labour leader would make a “calamitous” prime minister.

Boris Johnson has launched the most personal attack on Jeremy Corbyn so far in the general election campaign
Credit: 
PA Images

In an article for The Sun, the Foreign Secretary said the Conservatives needed to dismiss any depiction of Mr Corbyn as a “benign Islingtonian herbivore”.

The comments are the most personal attack from a high-profile Tory since Theresa May announced the general election for 8 June.

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Mr Johnson contrasted the stances of Theresa May and the Labour leader on Nato, nuclear weapons and shoot-to-kill to claim Mr Corbyn has “no grasp of the need for this country to be strong in the world”.

Like Mrs May, he talked up the prospect of Labour winning enough seats in the general election for Mr Corbyn to become Prime Minister.

“The biggest risk with Jeremy Corbyn is that people just don’t get what a threat he really is,” he wrote.

“They look at him floundering away in the Commons and they say to themselves: Nah – that guy? PM? That’s never going to happen.

"They watch his meandering and nonsensical questions and they feel a terrible twinge of human compassion.

"Well, they say to themselves: he may be a mutton-headed old mugwump, but he is probably harmless.

“Do you have those feelings? Have you ever thought the leader of the Opposition is an essentially benign Islingtonian herbivore? Have you felt a pang of sympathy for his  plight? If so, fight it.”

The Brexiteer also hit out at Labour’s Brexit policy, comparing it to the hokey cokey and a “recipe for paralysis and uncertainty - and for Britain to get totally stiffed in the negotiations”.

His newspaper piece followed a speech at Mansion House last night in which he stressed the need for the UK to “step up” on the world stage after Brexit, and praised Mrs May’s leadership.

Labour dismissed Mr Johnson’s first contributions to the election campaign as “delusional nonsense”.

“With his crass and offensive remarks Boris Johnson has single-handedly damaged Britain’s chances of getting a good deal with the EU,” said Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry.  

“And after his broken promise of £350m a week for the NHS, why should anyone believe a word he says.”

In an article for The Sun, the Foreign Secretary said the Conservatives needed to dismiss any depiction of Mr Corbyn as a “benign Islingtonian herbivore”.

The comments are the most personal attack from a high-profile Tory since Theresa May announced the general election for 8 June.

Mr Johnson contrasted the stances of Theresa May and the Labour leader on Nato, nuclear weapons and shoot-to-kill to claim Mr Corbyn has “no grasp of the need for this country to be strong in the world”.

Like Mrs May, he talked up the prospect of Labour winning enough seats in the general election for Mr Corbyn to become Prime Minister.

“The biggest risk with Jeremy Corbyn is that people just don’t get what a threat he really is,” he wrote.

“They look at him floundering away in the Commons and they say to themselves: Nah – that guy? PM? That’s never going to happen. They watch his meandering and nonsensical questions and they feel a terrible twinge of human compassion. Well, they say to themselves: he may be a mutton-headed old mugwump, but he is probably harmless.

“Do you have those feelings? Have you ever thought the leader of the Opposition is an essentially benign Islingtonian herbivore?Have you felt a pang of sympathy for his  plight? If so, fight it.”

The Brexiteer also hit out at Labour’s Brexit policy, comparing it to the hokey cokey and a “recipe for paralysis and uncertainty - and for Britain to get totally stiffed in the negotiations”.

His newspaper piece followed a speech at Mansion House last night in which he stressed the need for the UK to “step up” on the world stage after Brexit, and praised Mrs May’s leadership.

Labour dismissed Mr Johnson’s first contributions to the election campaign as “delusional nonsense”.

“With his crass and offensive remarks Boris Johnson has single-handedly damaged Britain’s chances of getting a good deal with the EU,” said Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry.  

“And after his broken promise of £350m a week for the NHS, why should anyone believe a word he says.”