General election: Former senior judge accuses Boris Johnson of being 'risk taker' who 'chances his arm'

Ex-master of rolls says it is 'pretty obvious' what he thinks of PM's integrity

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 26 November 2019 18:35
Ex-master Lord Dyson of Rolls criticises 'risk taker' Boris Johnson

Ex-master of the rolls Lord Dyson has launched a scathing attack on Boris Johnson accusing of him of being a “risk taker” who had been “reckless” with his personal life.

The second most senior judge in England and Wales between 2012 and 2016 made the remarks just days after the prime minister refused to answer questions about how many children he had.

Lord Dyson was one of three judges to rule in 2013 that the public had a right to know Mr Johnson had had an extra-martial affair with professional art consultant, Helen Macintyre, who later gave birth to their daughter.

The judgement said the there was a public interest matter “which the electorate was entitled to know” when considering his fitness for high public office, and referred to Mr Johnson’s “recklessness” several times.

Speaking about the judgement on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Emma Barnett, Lord Dyson said: “What I meant by that was that he was reckless in his personal life, because he’d had affairs and had children.

“I don’t know many, but he’d had children. And I think the press was entitled to say – it’s not what I think – but it was whether the press had a right to say to the public that this man, who has political ambitions, is this sort of person.”

Pressed on what sort of person Mr Johnson is, he continued: “I think he’s a risk taker. I’m not a politician but I’m a citizen of this country, and I see what I see.

“And he is a risk taker and I think he chances his arm. And I think that that case was an example, from a completely different aspect of his life, of doing that. Now there will be some people who say that is none of anybody’s business.

“What he does in his private life is of nobody’s concern. But we thought that, bearing the important of the freedom of the press, that the press was entitled to say those things about him.”

Lord Dyson added it was “pretty obvious” what he thought about the prime minister’s integrity, adding: “I think that’s what an awful lot of other people think.”

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