Boris Johnson cocaine use: London Mayor wouldn't recommend snorting icing sugar 'to any young person'

The Mayor of London recalls the time he tried and failed to take cocaine

Ella Alexander
Monday 20 October 2014 06:40 BST
So far Boris has led a charmed political life
So far Boris has led a charmed political life (PA)

Boris Johnson’s story of how he once mistook icing sugar for cocaine is surely one of his most quotable moments, and he says the incident put him off taking the white sugary substance ever again.

In a characteristic show of entertainingly buffoonish behaviour, The Mayor of London famously said that he thinks he was "once given cocaine but I sneezed so it didn't go up my nose. In fact, it may have been icing sugar."

The incident took place at Oxford University, where he "made an effort" to inhale what he believed to be cocaine.

"What I do remember is once, it being suggested I try a substance that was alleged to be cocaine and I made an effort – I won’t deny – I made an effort to try and ingest this substance, or inhale it, rather – and I failed," he recalled.

"Uh, it was a pitiably small amount anyway. It later appeared that it might not have been cocaine, but rather icing sugar."

He has previously admitted to smoking cannabis as a teenager, although "it didn’t do much for me".

His ill-fated experience with icing sugar isn’t one he’d wish to recreate nor suggest to other young members of the public

"That was, I’m afraid, my sole experience of icing sugar," he told The Guardian.

"I have never tried to take icing sugar again. Nor would I recommend icing sugar to any young person."

He continued to say that unlike fellow politician Nick Clegg, he isn’t one for crying, although, like so many others, the words of the Liberal Democrat leader can sometimes induce tears.

"I sometimes weep while listening to Nick Clegg," he said.

"It will produce hot tears of emotion, but perhaps not in the way you mean. I am, I’m afraid, not particularly lachrymose."

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