Boris Johnson’s stunt with the kipper shows how he means to go on – as he has done for decades

It is particularly traumatising, for political journalists, as we enter the Johnson era, to have to think that we will be writing about someone who was once one of our own, and who held in total disregard what we like to imagine the sacred currency of our trade – the truth

Tom Peck
Saturday 20 July 2019 16:34

It was fitting, in its way, that Boris Johnson’s last act in his three-decade-long campaign to become prime minister was the same as his first.

There he was, on Wednesday night, at the final Tory leadership hustings, holding aloft a smoked kipper, claiming that EU food safety regulations demanded it be shipped on its own “ice pillow”.

Complete drivel, of course. Drivel of the kind that propelled him to journalistic fame, and doing so much to crystallise this country’s misguided attitude to the European Union. Johnson became Brussels correspondent of The Daily Telegraph 30 years ago, and carved out a wildly successful niche in mendacious stories, like the ban on prawn cocktail crisps, the ban on recycling teabags and the law against eight year olds blowing up balloons. They have all been shown to be garbage.

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