POLITICS
12/10/2015 06:45 BST | Updated 12/10/2015 06:59 BST

Boris Johnson Criticises Theresa May And Nigel Farage For Using Immigrants As 'Scapegoats'

Boris Johnson: "When a community is going through some period of stress – a war, or economic hardship – they are historically far more likely to identify and turn on scapegoats in their midst."
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Boris Johnson: "When a community is going through some period of stress – a war, or economic hardship – they are historically far more likely to identify and turn on scapegoats in their midst."

Boris Johnson has criticised public figures who blame immigrants for "everything that has gone wrong in a society" in a thinly-veiled swipe at Home Secretary Theresa May and Ukip's Nigel Farage.

The London mayor argues migrants are among a group of "scapegoats", including "Jews, foreigners, homosexuals, and gypsies", who are targeted during a "period of stress", and many of the problems attributed to them - such as a lack of jobs and housing - are "barely credible".

In his column in The Daily Telegraph, he does not name Tory leadership rival Mrs May, but it comes less than a week after her heavilly-criticised Conservative conference speech where she warned uncontrolled migration threatened community "cohesion".

And he alluded to a joke made by Ukip leader Mr Farage who blamed incomers for causing traffic jams on the M4 that made him late for a meeting.

Mr Johnson, elected as a Conservative MP in May, made a speech at the conference in Manchester that attempted to burnish his "One Nation" credentials.

In his column today, he writes: "When a community is going through some period of stress – a war, or economic hardship – they are historically far more likely to identify and turn on scapegoats in their midst.

"Anxiety is transferred to some readily identifiable group: Jews, foreigners, homosexuals, gypsies – the victims of this kind of prejudice have in some cases been suffering for centuries.

"Sometimes, barely credible powers are attributed to these groups, and they become a catch-all explanation for everything that has gone wrong in a society.

"Your kids can’t get a house? It’s the immigrants. Can’t get a job? It’s the immigrants. Can’t see a doctor in A&E? It’s the immigrants. Traffic on the M4? It’s the immigrants."