I Called Out Boris Johnson's Racism In Parliament – Here's Why

Johnson has stoked division in communities and has a record of dishonesty – he's simply not fit for the office of prime minister, SNP MP Ian Blackford writes

The toxic Tory leadership contest has revealed the true nature of the Tory party and the road they are intent on dragging Scotland and the UK down.

At PMQs on Wednesday, there was ‘uproar’ from the Tory benches. Uproar because I called out the current front-runner to replace Theresa May as prime minister over abhorrent remarks he has made consistently through his career against minorities and other countries. Uproar that I dare mention his long list of racist and toxic insults. Enough is enough.

Theresa May once called her own party the ‘Nasty Party’ – and with Boris Johnson set to take the keys of Downing Street, the Tory party is about to get a whole lot nastier.

So let me be clear; Yes, Boris Johnson is guilty of stoking division in communities and has a record of dishonesty. He is simply not fit for office, let alone the office of Prime Minister.

I called on Theresa May to turn to her backbenches and call out the poisonous rhetoric and to condemn it unequivocally. Her refusal to do so was damning and her silence deafening.

In his column for the Daily Telegraph in 2018, Boris Johnson described veiled Muslim women as looking like “letter-boxes” and “bank robbers.” His attack came at a time when anti-Muslim hate crime was also on the rise, and with Tell Mama – a monitoring group – revealing that six out of ten victims of Islamophobia in 2017 were women.

When the former foreign secretary was editor of the Spectator magazine in 2004, it is reported that he authorised the publication of a poem that described Scottish people as “a verminous race” who should be exterminated.

He has also advocated that Scots should be banned from holding the office of prime minister, stating that “government by a Scot is just not conceivable.”

In a separate column for the Daily Telegraph in 2002, Boris Johnson used slurs to describe African people, including that they have “watermelon smiles.”

He shamefully dismissed the victims of the devastating conflict in Libya at the 2017 Tory party conference by saying that we only have to “clear the dead bodies away” before Libya could become the next Dubai.

Worryingly, the sickening list does not stop there. Yet this is who the Tory party is overwhelmingly championing.

The reality is that a Boris Johnson premiership will alienate communities and normalise xenophobic and hateful rhetoric.

A Boris Johnson premiership will be devastating economically and socially. It will be catastrophic for our public services, and will harm opportunities for future generations. Not only will Boris Johnson push ahead with his plans to drag Scotland and the UK over the cliff and into the Brexit abyss, he in willing to inflict the hardest of version of Brexit which will leave us all poorer and worse off.

Put simply, a Boris Johnson premiership will be a lurch to the extremes that will leave us with our very own mini Trump.

With Johnson and the other candidates also lining up to tell the people of Scotland what they can and cannot do, the SNP is clear that Scotland’s future will be decided only by the people of Scotland – it will not be dictated by Tory careerists obsessed with themselves.

If Tory MPs were upset at racism being called out before Boris Johnson has even become prime minister, then I have a warning for them – this is just the beginning.

Ian Blackford is the SNP MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber and party leader in Westminster


What's Hot