People Will Forget PM's Car Crash Speech Says MP Who Forgot Wife's Nationality

“I mean, you’re talking to someone who as the foreign secretary called his Chinese wife ‘Japanese’ and I managed to get through that."
Jeremy Hunt defended the prime minister over his awkward speech to the CBI
Jeremy Hunt defended the prime minister over his awkward speech to the CBI
HuffPost UK

A Tory MP who famously mixed up his wife’s nationality today said the public will forget Boris Johnson’s car crash Peppa Pig speech.

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt said he did not expect people to remember the prime minister’s rambling address to the Confederation of British Industry yesterday.

It comes after Johnson lost his place, compared himself to Moses, lavished praise on the cartoon Peppa Pig and imitated a revving car.

Asked what he thought of the heavily criticised speech, Hunt told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme: “In politics you have speeches that go well, that don’t go well.

“I mean, you’re talking to someone who as the foreign secretary called his Chinese wife ‘Japanese’ and I managed to get through that.

“So I don’t think in the grander scheme of things people will remember that particular speech.”

In 2018, the MP for South West Surrey mistakenly referred to his wife as Japanese during a visit to Beijing to discuss post-Brexit trade deals between the UK and China. Hunt’s wife is actually Chinese.

At the time, Hunt told his counterpart the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi: “My wife is Japanese – my wife is Chinese. That’s a terrible mistake to make.”

Pressed on the seriousness of the PM’s speech delivered to the major industrial organisation, Hunt added: “The last month has not been a good month for the government. But in the end, the thing that will count when we next face the electorate is whether the things we promised to do to help ordinary people are actually happening.”

Johnson’s speech has come under fire from his own MPs as well as usually sympathetic quarters of the media.