Boris Johnson widely regarded as a ‘liar’ by voters, poll finds

Just 16 per cent of people describe PM in positive terms

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Monday 18 April 2022 12:05 BST
Partygate: Boris Johnson's repeated denials and excuses

Boris Johnson is widely regarded as liar by British voters, a new survey of public opinion has found.

A poll by JLPartners found that just 16 per cent of people would use positive language to describe the prime minister with more than 70 per cent characterising him in negative terms.

Voters were asked to describe the prime minister, with the most frequent description being that he is a ‘liar’ – followed by ‘incompetent’ and ‘untrustworthy’.

The poll, a nationally-representative sample commissioned by The Times newspaper, comes after the prime minister was fined for breaking Covid rules at a lockdown birthday party.

Mr Johnson had previously insisted he knew of no parties in Downing Street and claimed he was furious when he found out.

Of those people polled, one said: “He was the right person to get Brexit done but now he needs to go. He is a liar and has broken the law. We need a change.”

And another added: “At first, I really liked him and felt he would be good for the country, but now he has been in power he has been one of the worst prime ministers ever… he is so out of touch and has no idea how the majority of people live their lives.”

Other words used regularly by voters to describe the PM include "idiot" and "buffoon", while one voter described him as an "utter anus".

James Johnson, a former No10 pollster who runs JLPartners said: "Overall, partygate dominates views of Boris over Ukraine.

"Fury has not receded. Many negative comments are by people who liked him previously but have now changed their minds.

"When Johnson first took power, only Labour voters would call him a liar. It is now widespread."

Boris Johnson cannot be removed from office by voters until the next general election, which will come in 2025 at the latest.

But Tory MPs could choose to vote not confidence in his leadership and replace him with another Conservative.

A handful of Tory MPs have publicly called on Mr Johnson to go, while dozens have said it would be the wrong time to remove him.

The PM's chances of staying in office appear to have surged after a damaging series of revelations surrounding Rishi Sunak, who has previously widely regarded as his obvious successor.

Mr Johnson has repeatedly been accused of serious lying before and during his political career. He was sacked as a journalist from The Times newspaper in 1988 for making up a quote, and sacked from Michael Howards's shadow Cabinet in 1994 for lying about an affair.

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