Boris Johnson

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Boris Johnson

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (born 2 June 1964) is a British politician, popular historian, and journalist who is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and has been Leader of the Conservative Party since 23 July 2019. He has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Uxbridge and South Ruislip since 2015. Johnson previously served as the MP for Henley from 2001 until 2008, and as Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016. A member of the Conservative Party, Johnson considers himself a "One-Nation Tory" and has been described as a libertarian due to his association with both economically liberal and socially liberal policies. He is partly of Turkish descent.




  • I accused men of being responsible for a social breakdown which is costing us all, as taxpayers, £9.1 billion per year, and which is producing a generation of ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate children.
  • The modern British male is useless. If he is blue collar, he is likely to be drunk, criminal, aimless, feckless and hopeless, and perhaps claiming to suffer from low self-esteem brought on by unemployment. If he is white collar, he is likely to be little better.
  • Something must be found, first, to restore women's desire to be married. That means addressing the feebleness of the modern Briton, his reluctance or inability to take control of his woman and be head of a household.



  • Labour's appalling agenda, encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools, and all the rest of it.
    • The Spectator 15 April 2000
  • Dark forces dragged me away from the keyboard, swirling forces of irresistible intensity and power.
    • "A wise guy playing the fool to win", Sunday Times, 16 July 2000, p. 17.
    • While at the Daily Telegraph, explaining why his work was usually late.


  • Yes, cannabis is dangerous, but no more than other perfectly legal drugs. It's time for a rethink, and the Tory party - the funkiest, most jiving party on Earth - is where it's happening.
    • "No one obeys the speed limit except a motorised rickshaw", Daily Telegraph, 12 July 2001, p. 27.
  • Ok, I said to myself as I sighted the bird down the end of the gun. This time, my fine feathered friend, there is no escape.
    • Friends, Voters, Countrymen p. 59.


  • It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving picaninnies; and one can imagine that Blair, twice victor abroad but enmired at home, is similarly seduced by foreign politeness. They say he is shortly off to the Congo. No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, and the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and the tribal warriors will all break out in Watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird.
    • Daily Telegraph 10 January 2002
  • The problem is not that we were once in charge, but that we are not in charge any more... Consider Uganda, pearl of Africa, as an example of the British record. … the British planted coffee and cotton and tobacco, and they were broadly right... If left to their own devices, the natives would rely on nothing but the instant carbohydrate gratification of the plantain. You never saw a place so abounding in bananas: great green barrel-sized bunches, off to be turned into matooke. Though this dish (basically fried banana) was greatly relished by Idi Amin, the colonists correctly saw that the export market was limited... The best fate for Africa would be if the old colonial powers, or their citizens, scrambled once again in her direction; on the understanding that this time they will not be asked to feel guilty.
    • Discussing his views on Africans and "Instant Carbohydrate Gratification" The Spectator 2 February 2002
  • I don't see why people are so snooty about Channel 5. It has some respectable documentaries about the Second World War. It also devotes considerable airtime to investigations into lap dancing, and other related and vital subjects.
    • "What has the BBC come to? Toilets, that's what", Daily Telegraph, 14 March 2002, p. 29.
  • We are confident in our story and will be fighting this all the way. I am very sorry that Alastair Campbell has taken this decision but I can see that he got his tits in the wringer.
    • Catherine Macleod, "Angry Blair takes on press", The Herald (Glasgow), 24 April 2002, p. 1.
    • On Campbell's negative reply to the Spectator's report that the Government had influence the Queen Mother's funeral arrangements.
  • Nor do I propose to defend the right to talk on a mobile while driving a car, though I don't believe that is necessarily any more dangerous than the many other risky things that people do with their free hands while driving - nose-picking, reading the paper, studying the A-Z, beating the children, and so on.
    • "To the lady who berated me, I say: on your bike", Daily Telegraph, 1 August 2002, p. 21.


  • I forgot that to rely on a train, in Blair's Britain, is to engage in a crapshoot with the devil.
    • "A horse is a safer bet than the trains", Daily Telegraph, 3 July 2003, p. 22.
  • I have as much chance of becoming Prime Minister as of being decapitated by a frisbee or of finding Elvis.
    • Ephraim Hardcastle, Daily Mail, 22 July 2003, p. 13.
    • Asked by pupils of Gillott's School in his constituency whether he would like the job of Prime Minister.
  • The dreadful truth is that when people come to see their MP, they have run out of better ideas.
    • "What's wrong with 40 Liverpool Road?", Daily Telegraph, 18 September 2003, p. 24.
  • The Lib Dems are not just empty. They are a void within a vacuum surrounded by a vast inanition.
    • "The least said about Lib Dems, the better", Daily Telegraph, 25 September 2003, p. 24.
  • Not even Mr Blair has been able to erode the unions conviction that we all have a “right” to a minimum wage... Both the minimum wage and the Social Charter would palpably destroy jobs.
    • Lend Me Your Ears, p. 387


  • Any seat would be mad not to take him. He's a terrific chap.
    • "Keeping it in the family", Daily Telegraph, 23 January 2004, p. 29.
    • On his father, Stanley Johnson's plans to become an MP.
  • It is just flipping unbelievable. He is a mixture of Harry Houdini and a greased piglet. He is barely human in his elusiveness. Nailing Blair is like trying to pin jelly to a wall.
    • "The BBC was doing its job - bring back Gilligan", Daily Telegraph, 29 January 2004, p. 21.
    • Reaction to the Hutton Report.
  • As snow-jobs go, this beats the Himalayas.
    • "The BBC was doing its job - bring back Gilligan", Daily Telegraph, 29 January 2004, p. 21.
    • Reaction to the Hutton Report.
  • That is the best case for Bush; that, among other things, he liberated Iraq. It is good enough for me.
    • Daily Telegraph 26 February 2004
  • Some readers will no doubt say that a devil is inside me; and though my faith is a bit like Magic FM in the Chilterns, in that the signal comes and goes, I can only hope that isn't so.
    • "What's so funny about the Passion?", Daily Telegraph, 4 March 2004, p. 24.
  • If Amsterdam or Leningrad vie for the title of Venice of the North, then Venice - what compliment is high enough? Venice, with all her civilisation and ancient beauty, Venice with her addiction to curious aquatic means of transport, yes, my friends, Venice is the Henley of the South.
    • "Paying through the Doge for Europe", Daily Telegraph, 11 March 2004, p. 22.
  • He's lost the plot, people tell me. He's drifting rudderless in the wide Sargasso Sea of New Labour's ideological vacuum.
    • "Blair dead in the water? No such luck", Daily Telegraph, 29 April 2004, p. 24.
    • On Tony Blair.
  • Look the point is ... er, what is the point? It is a tough job but somebody has got to do it.
    • Toby Helm, "Boris Johnson named shadow arts minister", Daily Telegraph, 7 May 2004, p. 12.
    • On being appointed Shadow Arts Minister.
  • It was a stellar performance. I may as well give up now and make way for an older man.
    • Hickey, The Express, 12 May 2004.
    • On his father Stanley's appearance on Have I Got News For You.
  • There is absolutely no one, apart from yourself, who can prevent you, in the middle of the night, from sneaking down to tidy up the edges of that hunk of cheese at the back of the fridge.
    • "Face it: it's all your own fat fault", Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2004, p. 24.
    • On the dangers of obesity.
  • My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive.
    • "You ask the questions", The Independent, 17 June 2004, p. 7.
    • Asked "Admit it: you want to become prime minister, don't you?" by Amanda Findlay of Bolton.
  • I didn't see it, but it sounds barbaric. It's become like cock-fighting: poor dumb brutes being set upon each other by conniving television producers.
    • David Smith, "Focus: Big Brother brawl", The Observer, 20 June 2004, p. 17.
    • On Big Brother.
  • Try as I might, I could not look at an overhead projection of a growth profit matrix, and stay conscious.
    • Beth Pearson, "Has Howard got news for Boris?", The Herald (Glasgow), 13 November 2004, p. 15.
    • Explaining why he quit after a week as a management consultant.
Affair with Petronella Wyatt[edit]
  • I have not had an affair with Petronella. It is complete balderdash. It is an inverted pyramid of piffle. It is all completely untrue and ludicrous conjecture. I am amazed people can write this drivel.
    • Simon Walters, "Boris, Petsy and a 'pyramid of piffle'", Mail on Sunday, 7 November 2004, p. 7.
    • Denying accusations of his having an affair with Petronella Wyatt.
  • Tremendous, little short of superb. On cracking form.
    • David Charter, Joanna Bale, "Tories suggest door will open for Boris Johnson to return", The Times, 15 November 2004, p. 7.
    • Asked how he was feeling after being sacked as Shadow Arts Minister for having lied to Michael Howard over his affair with Petronella Wyatt.
  • I advise you all very strongly - go for a run, get some exercise, and have a beautiful day.
    • Valentine Low, "Shiver me timbers Boris", Evening Standard, 15 November 2004, p. 3.
    • Cornered by reporters asking about his affair after a morning run.
  • Nothing excites compassion, in friend and foe alike, as much as the sight of you ker-splonked on the Tarmac with your propeller buried six feet under.
  • My friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters.


  • But here's old Ken - he's been crass, he's been insensitive and thuggish and brutal in his language - but I don't think actually if you read what he said, although it was extraordinary and rude, I don't think he was actually anti-Semitic.
    • "Quotes of the Day", The Times, 18 February 2005, p. 2.
  • Howard is a dynamic performer on many levels. There you are. He sent me to Liverpool. Marvellous place. Howard was the most effective Home Secretary since Peel. Hang on, was Peel Home Secretary?
    • Ben Macintyre, "'Hello, I'm your MP. Actually no, I'm your candidate. Gosh'", The Times, 19 April 2005, p. 23.
    • On Michael Howard.
  • I'm having Sunday lunch with my family. I'm vigorously campaigning, inculcating my children in the benefits of a Tory government.
    • "2-minute interview: Boris Johnson", The Guardian, 11 April 2005, p. 7.
    • Asked whether he was canvassing at Sunday lunchtime.
  • What we hate, what we fear, is being ignored.
    • "Labour's cleaning up on the council tax", 21 April 2005, p. 24.
    • On the fears of MPs.
  • I love tennis with a passion. I challenged Boris Becker to a match once and he said he was up for it but he never called back. I bet I could make him run around.
    • Hickey, The Express, 21 March 2005.
  • The proposed ban on incitement to "religious hatred" makes no sense unless it involves a ban on the Koran itself; and that would be pretty absurd, when you consider that the Bill's intention is to fight Islamophobia.
    • Daily Telegraph 21 July 2005
  • I'm backing David Cameron's campaign out of pure, cynical self-interest.
    • "Conference Diary", The Independent, 5 October 2005, p. 7.
    • On The 2005 Conservative Leadership Contest.
  • I think I was once given cocaine but I sneezed so it didn't go up my nose. In fact, it may have been icing sugar.
    • "Londoner's Diary", Evening Standard, 17 October 2005, p. 15.
  • I lost the job, but the well the honest truth is that this has been embellished by, probably by me, in the sense that there were two of us who were taken on as trainees, and this was in the, the, the 80s, I think it was the late 80s, and it was him or me who was going to get the job at the end of, at the end of, eight months or nine months.... It was, it was absolutely, it was mano-a-mano and of course it was him who got it.
  • I was just chucking these rocks over the garden wall, and I'd listen to this amazing crash from the greenhouse, next door, over, over in England, as everything I wrote from Brussels was having this amazing, explosive effect on the Tory Party, and, and it really gave me this, I suppose, rather weird sense of, of power.
  • I can't remember what my line on drugs is. What's my line on drugs?
    • "The Genelection Game", Sunday Mirror, 24 April 2005, p. 19.
    • During the campaign trail of the 2005 general election.
  • Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3.
    • Francis Elliott, "Boris casts his vote: 'Spectator' editor tells 'Desert Island Discs' he'll quit to spend more time with David Cameron", Independent on Sunday, 30 October 2005, p. 3.
    • Said in April 2005 during the general election.
  • Old Man Howard, that Old Man Howard, he just keeps rolling, just keeps rolling.
    • Andrew Pierce, "Boris on a roll", The Times, 29 April 2005, p. 40.
    • When asked by The Oxford Student whether he sees anyone amongst his younger colleagues who would one day replace Howard.
  • I'm very attracted to it. I may be diverting from Tory party policy here, but I don't care.
    • Andrew Pierce, The Times, 30 April 2005, p. 42.
    • When asked about the 24 hour drinking legislation.
  • Life isn't like coursework, baby. It's one damn essay crisis after another.
    • "Exams work because they're scary", Daily Telegraph, 12 May 2005, p. 22.


  • I'm a rugby player, really, and I knew I was going to get to him, and when he was about two yards away I just put my head down. There was no malice. I was going for the ball with my head, which I understand is a legitimate move in soccer.
    • Ed Harris, "Boris bites Herr legs...: The MP for Henley does his bit for Anglo-German diplomacy", Evening Standard, 4 May 2006, p. 9.
    • On his tackle on German midfielder Maurizio Gaudino in a charity football match.
  • Chinese cultural influence is virtually nil, and unlikely to increase... Indeed, high Chinese culture and art are almost all imitative of western forms: Chinese concert pianists are technically brilliant, but brilliant at Schubert and Rachmaninov. Chinese ballerinas dance to the scores of Diaghilev. The number of Chinese Nobel prizes won on home turf is zero, although there are of course legions of bright Chinese trying to escape to Stanford and Caltech... It is hard to think of a single Chinese sport at the Olympics, compared with umpteen invented by Britain, including ping-pong, I'll have you know, which originated at upper-class dinner tables and was first called whiff-whaff. The Chinese have a script so fiendishly complicated that they cannot produce a proper keyboard for it.
    • Have I Got Views for You, p. 277
  • Not only did I want Bush to win, but we threw the entire weight of The Spectator behind him.
    • Have I Got Views for You, p. 272
  • The real hero of Jaws is the mayor. A gigantic fish is eating all your constituents and he decides to keep the beaches open. OK, in that instance he was actually wrong. But in principle, we need more politicians like the mayor - we are often the only obstacle against all the nonsense which is really a massive conspiracy against the taxpayer.


  • Unlike the current occupant of the White House, he has no difficulty in orally extemporising a series of grammatical English sentences, each containing a main verb.
  • Look, I wouldn't trust Harriet Harman's political judgement.
    • "BBC News Video Interview", BBC News, 2 May 2008
    • When told the Harriet Harman (Labour Politician) thought he had won the election for London Mayor.
  • Had it been us staging the Games, I don't think we would necessarily have done the switcheroo with the girl with the braces
    • "Boris Johnson In Beijing", The Guardian, 21 August 2008
    • When asked whether he had any criticisms of the Beijing Olympic Games.

First Speech As London Mayor (3 May 2008)[edit]
First Speech as Mayor of London, at City Hall (3 May 2008).
  • Thank you very much Mr Meyer, Anthony Meyer that is. I want to thank you, I want to thank the police of course, and my wife Marina and my family, and my utterly brilliant campaign team, the Conservative GLA candidates — some of whom were extremely unlucky tonight — and of course the thousands of Conservative activists, the ward captains and knocker-uppers who did such an amazing job today, and indeed yesterday, rather.
  • This has been a marathon election as you can tell with a record turnout and I think it has been good for politics and it has been good for London.
  • I want to thank Sian [Berry, Green Party] and Lindsey [German, Left List] and Alan [Craig, Christian Peoples Party] and Gerard [Batten, UKIP], who have sometimes joined us for hustings, but mainly I want to thank my two colleagues in the strange triumvirate who have been trundling around London's church halls and TV studios violently disputing the meaning of multiculturalism and the exact cost of conductors. On which point I think I'm going to declare victory.
  • And I want to congratulate you Brian on your great common sense and decency with which you put your case and I do hope that it is not the end of our discussions about the police.
  • And as for Ken, Mayor Livingstone, I think you have been a very considerable public servant and a distinguished leader of this city.
  • You shaped the office of mayor. You gave it national prominence and when London was attacked on 7 July 2005 you spoke for London.
  • And I can tell you that your courage and the sheer exuberant nerve with which you stuck it to your enemies, especially in New Labour, you have thereby earned the thanks and admiration of millions of Londoners, even if you think that they have a funny way of showing it today.
  • And when we have that drink together which we both so richly deserve, I hope we can discover a way in which the mayoralty can continue to benefit from your transparent love of London, a city whose energy conquered the world and which now brings the world together in one city.
  • I do not for one minute believe that this election shows that London has been transformed overnight into a Conservative city but I do hope it does show that the Conservatives have changed into a party that can again be trusted after 30 years with the greatest, most cosmopolitan, multi-racial generous hearted city on earth in which there are huge and growing divisions between rich and poor.
  • And that brings me to my final thank you which is of course to the people of London.
  • I would like to thank first the vast multitudes who voted against me - and I have met quite a few in the last nine months, not all of them entirely polite.
  • I will work flat out from now on to earn your trust and to dispel some of the myths that have been created about me.
  • And as for those who voted for me, I know there will be many whose pencils hovered for an instant before putting an X in my box and I will work flat out to repay and to justify your confidence.
  • We have a new team ready to go in to City Hall. Where there have been mistakes we will rectify them. Where there are achievements we will build on them.
  • Where there are neglected opportunities we will seize on them, and we will focus on the priorities of the people of London: cutting crime, improving transport, protecting green space, delivering affordable housing, giving taxpayers value for money in every one of the 32 boroughs.
  • And I hope that everybody who loves this city will put aside party differences to try in the making of Greater London greater still. Let's get cracking tomorrow and let's have a drink tonight.



  • In 1904, 20 per cent of journeys were made by bicycle in London. I want to see a figure like that again. If you can't turn the clock back to 1904, what's the point of being a Conservative?
  • The meat in the sausage has got to be Conservative
    • BBC News Interview with Jeremy Paxman, BBC News, 7 May 2010
    • Johnson on the possibility of a coalition after the United Kingdom general election, May 2010.
      • Johnson: Whatever type of, er, of Wall's sausage, er, is contrived by this, er, this great experiment, the, the dominant ingredient has got to be conservatism. The, the meat in the sausage has got to be Conservative, I would say. There can be plenty of bread and other bits and pieces.
        • Paxman: The question is whether it's a chipolata or a Cumberland sausage, I suppose, is it?
      • Johnson: This is fantastic to listen to. Enough of this, enough of this, er, gastronomic metaphor. Er.
        • Paxman: You started it!
      • Johnson: Well, I, I've had enough of it! I—
        • Paxman: Haven't you got a city to run?
      • Johnson: Say again?
        • Paxman: I say haven't you got—
      • Johnson: Yeah, I have got a city to run and that's exactly, that's exactly the point!
        • Paxman: Well go and do it then! Goodbye!
      • Johnson: The government of London, the government of London will carry on irrespective of the, er, temporary difficulties in providing a national government. Thank you.
        • Paxman: Bye bye, Boris!


  • The excitement is growing so much I think the Geiger counter of Olympo-mania is going to go zoink off the scale.
    • On the forthcoming London Olympic Games. Daily Telegraph, 27 July 2012.
  • They are like glistening wet otters frolicking.
    • Telegraph column, 31 July 2012
    • On woman's beach volleyball at the 2012 Olympic Games.


  • It is often useful to give the slight impression that you are deliberately pretending not to know what is going on, because the reality may be that you don't know what is going on, but people won't be able to tell the difference.
  • If we left the EU, we would end this sterile debate, and we would have to recognise that most of our problems are not caused by “Bwussels”, but by chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills, a culture of easy gratification and underinvestment in both human and physical capital and infrastructure.
Peking university, Beijing (14 October 2013) Joint speech to students
  • Who, according to JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter novels, was Harry Potter's first girlfriend? Who is the first person he kisses? That's right, Cho Chang, who is a Chinese overseas student at Hogwarts school," he said, to laughs and scattered applause. "Ladies and gents I rest my case."
  • Now can I ask you a question," "Why is it that we're lucky to have so many Chinese students? Is it because of the weather? Is it because we have so many French restaurants? Is it because we have so many communist bicycles?"


  • Putin's proxy army was almost certainly guilty of killing the passengers on the Malaysia Airlines jet that came down in eastern Ukraine. He has questions to answer about the death of Alexander Litvinenko, pitilessly poisoned in a London restaurant. As for his reign in Moscow, he is allegedly the linchpin of a vast post-Soviet gangster kleptocracy, and is personally said to be the richest man on the planet. Journalists who oppose him get shot. His rivals find themselves locked up. Despite looking a bit like Dobby the House Elf, he is a ruthless and manipulative tyrant.


  • Britain is a great nation, a global force for good. It is surely a boon for the world and for Europe that she should be intimately engaged in the EU.
  • You look at the plan to increase the efforts to prop up the single currency with an ever denser system of integration, with more and more regulation about all sorts of social and economic issues which will impact directly on this country, I think the risk is increasingly in staying in the project. I think the best thing we can do is show a lead, show an example and strike out for freedom.
  • We will be informed by our most important ally that it is in our interests to stay in the EU, no matter how flawed we may feel that organisation to be. Never mind the loss of sovereignty; never mind the expense and the bureaucracy and the uncontrolled immigration. The American view is very clear.
  • Something mysterious happened when Barack Obama entered the Oval Office in 2009. Something vanished from that room, and no one could quite explain why. It was a bust of Winston Churchill – the great British war time leader. It was a fine goggle-eyed object, done by the brilliant sculptor Jacob Epstein, and it had sat there for almost ten years. But on day one of the Obama administration it was returned, without ceremony, to the British embassy in Washington. No one was sure whether the President had himself been involved in the decision. Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President's ancestral dislike of the British empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender. Some said that perhaps Churchill was seen as less important than he once was. Perhaps his ideas were old-fashioned and out of date. Well, if that's why Churchill was banished from the Oval Office, they could not have been more wrong.
  • There was a young fellow from Ankara
    Who was a terrific wankerer
    Till he sowed his wild oats
    With the help of a goat
    But he didn't even stop to thankera.
  • It is vital now to see this [Brexit] moment for what it is. This is not a time to quail, it is not a crisis, nor should we see it as an excuse for wobbling or self-doubt, but it is a moment for hope and ambition for Britain. A time not to fight against the tide of history, but to take that tide at the flood, and sail on to fortune.
    • During the announcement that he would not run to become Britain's prime minister. A reference to Brutus's "There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune" in Julius Caesar. [3] (June 30, 2016)
  • We can all spend an awfully long time going over lots of stuff that I've written over the last 30 years... all of which in my view have been taken out of context, but never mind... I'm afraid that there is such a rich thesaurus now of things that I have said that have been one way or another, through what alchemy I do not know, somehow misconstrued that it would take me too long to engage in a full global itinerary of apology to all concerned.


  • I think Rex Tillerson is absolutely clear in his view, which is the same as mine. You have got to engage with Russia, but you have got to engage in a very guarded way. You have got to beware of what they are up to. There is no question that, when you look at Russian activity on the cyber front, when you look at what they are doing in the western Balkans, when you look at what has been happening in the Ukraine, you've got to be very, very cautious. I think it is entirely right to have a dual track approach. We don't want to get into a new Cold War. That's something London and Washington are completely at one on. But nor do we want Russian behaviour to continue as it is - and Rex Tillerson has been very clear about that.
  • There's a group of UK business people, wonderful guys who want to invest in Sirte, on the coast, near where Gaddafi was actually captured and executed as some of you may have seen. And they literally have a brilliant vision to turn Sirte, with the help of the municipality of Sirte, to turn it into the next Dubai. The only thing they've got to do is clear the dead bodies away and then they'll be there.
  • When I look at what Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing, she was simply teaching people journalism, as I understand it. [Neither] Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe nor her family has been informed about what crime she has actually committed. And that I find extraordinary, incredible.


  • [The attack was] a sign [from President Putin that] no-one could escape the long arm of Russian revenge ... [The attack] was a sign that President Putin or the Russian state wanted to give to potential defectors in their own agencies: 'This is what happens to you if you decide to support a country with a different set of values. You can expect to be assassinated'.
  • If you do that you have to answer the question what next? What if the Iranians do rush for a nuclear weapon? Are we seriously saying that we are going to bomb those facilities at Fordo and Natanz? Is that really a realistic possibility? Or do we work round what we have got and push back on Iran together?
  • If he can fix North Korea and if he can fix the Iran nuclear deal then I don't see why he is any less of a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize than Barack Obama, who got it before he even did anything,


  • Take that [Irish border] backstop out, or at the very least give us a legally binding change - within the text of the agreement - that allows for the UK to come out [of the EU] of its own accord, and then we will be able to say that the agreement is imperfect but at least tolerable.
  • We are being asked to vote for a customs union and a second referendum. The Bill is directly against our manifesto - and I will not vote for it. We can and must do better - and deliver what the people voted for.
  • Interviewer: Can you give an example, in your political life, when you've set your own self-interest aside for the benefit of the country?
    Boris Johnson: Well, er, pfft, um, it's a good question, but er, I, I, I would, you know, I don't, obviously, it's an embarrassing but, but true that, um, er, it is obviously, possible, er, how should I put this, to make more money, er, by not being a full-time politician. Um, I don't, I don't want to put too finer point on it, er, but, you know, you have to, you have to, you have to, make sacrifices sometimes.
  • Andrew Neil: You talk about article 5B in GATT 24.
    Boris Johnson: Article 24, get it right Andrew, it's article 24, paragraph 5B.
    Andrew Neil: And how would you handle paragraph 5C?
    Boris Johnson: I would confide entirely in paragraph 5B.
    Andrew Neil: But how would you get round what's in 5C?
    Boris Johnson: I would confide entirely in paragraph 5B which is enough for out purposes.
    Andrew Neil: Do you know what is in 5C?
    Boris Johnson: No.
  • We are going to energise the country. We are going to get Brexit done on 31 October and take advantage of all the opportunities it will bring with a new spirit of can do. We are once again going to believe in ourselves, and like some slumbering giant we are going to rise and ping off the guy ropes of self doubt and negativity.
  • I just say to everybody in the country, including everyone in Parliament, the fundamental choice is this: Are you going to side with Jeremy Corbyn and those who want to cancel the referendum? Are you going to side with those who want to scrub the democratic verdict of the people - and plunge this country into chaos. Or are you going to side with those of us who want to get on, deliver the mandate of the people and focus with absolute, laser-like precision on the domestic agenda?
  • [I would] rather be dead in a ditch [than ask the EU to delay Brexit beyond 31 October]
  • I've looked carefully at no deal, I've assessed its consequences, both for our country and yours, and yes, of course, we could do it, the UK could certainly get through it, but be in no doubt that the outcome would be a failure of statecraft.
  • Man: The NHS has been destroyed. It's been destroyed. It's been destroyed, and now you come here for a press opportunity.
    Boris Johnson: Well actually there's no press here.
    Man: [Points at camera crew] What do you mean there's no press here?



  • We are embarked now on a great voyage, a project that no one thought in the international community that this country would have the guts to undertake, but if we are brave and if we truly commit to the logic of our mission - open, outward-looking - generous, welcoming, engaged with the world championing global free trade now when global free trade needs a global champion. I believe we can make a huge success of this venture, for Britain, for our European friends, and for the world.
  • We are telling cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can and not to open tomorrow. To be clear they can continue to provide take out services. Night clubs, theatres, gyms and leisure centres should close on the same time scale. These are places where people come together and indeed the whole purpose is to bring people together. Some people will be tempted to go out tonight. Please don't. You may think you are invincible bit there is no guarantee you will get mild symptoms. As far as possible we want you to stay at home - that's how we can protect our NHS and save lives.
    • Requested the closure of pubs, restaurants, gyms, entertainment venues, museums and galleries that evening due to the coronavirus pandemic, at his daily 5pm press conference on 20 March 2020 as quoted in The Daily Telegraph.
  • We have so far succeeded in the first and most important task we set ourselves as a nation to avoid the tragedy that engulfed other parts of the world.
  • At this stage I do not think that the international comparisons and the data are yet there to draw the conclusions that we want.


  • The President is a cross-eyed Texan warmonger, unelected, inarticulate, who epitomises the arrogance of American foreign policy.
    • Unsigned editorial entitled "Infantile resentment" in The Spectator, 22 November 2003, p. 7.
    • On George W. Bush.
  • With friends like these, who needs Yemenis?
    • At a summit about the civil war in Yemen, Financial Times, 19 September 2017 [4]

Quotes about Boris Johnson[edit]

They call him "Britain Trump" ~ Donald Trump
Boris Johnson, who is kind of a physical and emotional clone of the president ~ Joe Biden
  • Boris sometimes seems affronted when criticised for what amounts to a gross failure of responsibility.
  • I think he honestly believes that it is churlish of us not to regard him as an exception, one who should be free of the network of obligation which binds everyone else.
  • Boris was told to engage his brain before speaking in future.
    • Conservative Party official, quoted in "Black Dog", Mail on Sunday, 12 September 2004, p. 26.
  • You are a self-centred, pompous twit. Even your body language on TV is pathetic. Get out of public life. Go and do something in the private sector.
    • Paul Bigley (brother of murdered hostage, Kenneth Bigley) to Johnson on Radio City in Liverpool. Quoted in Nigel Bunyan, "Have we got views for you, Mr Johnson", Daily Telegraph, 21 October 2004, p. 3.
  • Boris Johnson, people always ask me the same question, they say, 'Is Boris a very very clever man pretending to be an idiot?' And I always say, 'No.'
  • Most politicians, as far as I can work out, are pretty incompetent, and then have a veneer of competence, you do seem to do it the other way around.
  • I am surprised and disappointed that you have chosen to repeat the figure of £350 million per week, in connection with the amount that might be available for extra public spending when we leave the European Union. This confuses gross and net contributions. It also assumes that payments currently made to the UK by the EU, including for example for the support of agriculture and scientific research, will not be paid by the UK government when we leave. It is a clear misuse of official statistics.
  • 90,000 Conservative members, whose views have become more extreme as their numbers have fallen, recently selected Boris Johnson as their new leader, and thus as the country's new prime minister. In doing so, they have chosen a mendacious chancer. It is no exaggeration to say that Johnson has lied his way to the top, first in journalism and then in politics.
  • My brother is using words like surrender and capitulation as if the people standing in the way of the blessed will of the people as defined by 17.4m votes in 2016 should be hung, drawn, quartered, tarred and feathered. I think that is highly reprehensible language to use.
  • Look what happens when the Labour party moves so, so far to the left. It comes up with ideas that are not able to be contained within a rational basis quickly. You're also going to see people saying, my God, Boris Johnson, who is kind of a physical and emotional clone of the president, is able to win.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about:
  1. Norgrove, David (2017-09-17). Letter from Sir David Norgrove to Foreign Secretary. UK Statistics Authority. Retrieved on 2020-04-01.