POLITICS

Boris Johnson Admits Writing Second Telegraph Column Backing 'Remain'

'Brexit' cheerleader 'fesses up

23/06/2016 09:13

Boris Johnson has confessed to having written an alternative pro-EU column for The Daily Telegraph at the same time as penning his piece backing 'Brexit'.

The Leave campaign's most prominent cheerleader electrified the early stages of the EU referendum campaign when he announced he would oppose the Government line and support 'Out'. 

Telegraph

Many observers noted how his pro-Brexit stance contrasted with his previous comments, including telling fellow Tories he was "no Outer". They also noted that backing Leave would bode well for a future leadership bid.

On Newsnight last night, on the eve of polling day, Johnson confirmed a rumour that was swirled around Westminster that underlined his conflict. 

"I'll tell you what the second article said. What it said was that, actually, irrespective of my objectives to the way the EU was going, in order to support my party and the Prime Minister it would be better to stay in. In the end that wasn't a good enough reason."

Reporter Michael Cockerell suggested that the 'In' column was a more convincing argument according to a source that had read it - something Johnson brushed off.

Even before Johnson's announcement at an impromptu press conference earlier this year, some made clear they thought he was not a true believer - including Tory MP Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill.

The former Mayor of London defied David Cameron - just hours after a personal plea from the Prime Minister - and went public with his decision with a short announcement outside his home in Islington in London.

 

On more than one occasion, the Tory MP Johnson has said he supported staying In, and warned against the negative impacts of coming out.

In 2012 he signalled he was more aligned to underlining the benefits of EU membership: “If we get to this campaign, I would be well up for trying to make the positive case for some of the good things that have come from the single market.”

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