NEWS
06/10/2021 14:41 BST

Boris Johnson Slams Islington, Apparently Forgetting He Used To Live There

Johnson lived in a £3.5 million Islington townhouse when he was the mayor of London.

Jacob King - PA Images via Getty Images
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers his keynote speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Picture date: Wednesday October 6, 2021. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)

Boris Johnson took aim at the north London borough of Islington during his keynote speech despite having lived there himself until 2018.

The prime minister’s speech at the Conservative Party conference on Wednesday saw him take aim at the leader of the opposition, Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer who was a London-based lawyer for years before going into politics.

He told the crowds: “What I found most incredible of all was the decision by Labour, now led by lefty Islington lawyers, to vote against tougher sentences for serious sexual and violent offenders.”

Notably, the prime minister did not mention Starmer by name.

Starmer is also believed to now live in Camden, and is the MP for Holborn and St Pancras, not Islington.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is the MP for Islington North while Emily Thornberry, shadow international trade secretary is the MP for Islington South.

Still, Johnson also said: “Let us be clear that there is a huge philosophical difference between us and Labour because in their souls they don’t like levelling up, they like levelling down.

“They like decapitating the tall poppies and taxing the rich till the pips squeak, they dislike academic competition, Latin I hear.

“And in Islington – I kid you not I have seen it with my own eyes – they like kids to run races where nobody actually wins.”

Johnson actually lived in an Islington townhouse between 2009 and 2018, and sold it for £3.75 million when he moved out when divorcing his second wife, a former lawyer Marina Wheeler. 

The Islington home in question was also a decadent five-storey, Grade-II listed building.

The prime minister’s attacks do not take the child poverty rates of the area into account either. 

Islington has a child poverty rate of 47%, which is higher than the London average of 38% and the fourth highest rate in the whole country, according to End Child Poverty Coalition’s findings in 2019.

It’s worth noting that Johnson has also lived in affluent areas around the world.

He was born in New York City, and lived in both London and Brussels before enrolling in the elite boarding school of Eton College while his family was based in the west London area of Primrose Hill.

He moved out to Oxfordshire after his marriage broke down in 2018, and then reportedly moved into a £675,000 flat with his then girlfriend Carrie Symonds in Camberwell, south east London – they both moved into 10 Downing Street when he became prime minister in 2019.

Johnson’s Islington digs did not go unnoticed on Twitter.