Boris Johnson was lost for words when asked the simple question of how he was “relatable” to ordinary members of the public.
The prime minister told presenter Naga Munchetty he felt faced with “the most difficult psychological question anyone has ever asked” as he struggled to answer during an awkward BBC Breakfast interview.
Johnson, who is thought to be worth £1.6m and was educated at the prestigious Eton College and Oxford University, was also asked about how he makes a cup of tea and whether he could use a mop.
Asked directly how ordinary people could connect with him, Johnson took a lengthy pause, before saying: “I think that the best answer I can give, of course I have been... I have had a very, very happy, and wonderful life in many, many ways.
“I was the beneficiary of my parents. [They] gave me fantastic opportunities, and they brought me up to be very intellectually... to do everything I possibly can.”
The Conservative leader, who is targeting Labour Party working class heartlands in the north and Midlands, went on to say he wanted to extend that opportunity to others.
He said: “What I want for every child in this country is to have a sense that they can achieve their full potential. And I think at the moment if I look around the UK – and I think this was one of the reasons people voted Brexit in 2016, genuinely – I think there are too many parts of the country where people don’t feel they have the opportunities that they could.”
But Munchetty tried to press him further, saying: “I want you to talk about why you’re relatable.”
Johnson then tried to reject the question altogether, saying it was “ridiculous”, and adding: “That’s a matter for other people. I can’t possibly say ‘I’m relatable’.”
Asked if he had ever used a mop before, after footage of him grappling with a mop during a visit to see victims of floods in the north of England this week, he said: “Yes. I thought that [question] was very unfair,” adding: “You don’t like my mop work?”
Munchetty then pointed out that Johnson had a “rather different background to most of the people in this country” and asked: “How can people connect with you?”
Johnson replied: “I love this country and I want to serve it. I think it’s an amazing place and you ask me [...] ‘am I relatable?’ I’ve not the faintest idea.
“It seems like the most difficult psychological question anyone has ever asked me.”
Munchetty also referred to a Conservative Party video which showed Johnson putting milk on top of a teabag.
“What’s wrong with that, by the way?” the prime minister asked. “Why does everybody object to that? You wouldn’t do that? And by the way, why does everybody object to leaving the teabag in?”
“It’s delicious, if you want to keep drinking a tea, it’s better.”
It comes as political leaders campaign for votes ahead of the December 12 general election, with Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn and the Lib Dems’ Jo Swinson also giving interviews.