- Boris Johnson wrote that Britain’s poorest communities “[supply] us with the chavs, the losers, the burglars, the drug addicts…”
- In a newspaper column from 2005 unearthed by Business Insider, Johnson claimed that the poorest 20% live on “run-down estates” and only vote for Labour in the “deluded hope of bigger hand-outs.”
- Johnson also suggested in 2013 that economic inequality was inevitable due to lower intelligence among low-earners.
- Labour’s David Lammy accused the prime minister of showing ‘disdain for working-class people.’
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Boris Johnson wrote that the poorest 20% of British society is made-up of “chavs,” “losers,” “burglars,” “drug addicts,” and “criminals,” in a newspaper column unearthed by Business Insider.
Johnson, who was a Conservative MP and editor of the Spectator magazine at the time, wrote in the Telegraph in 2005 that poorer voters who live on “run-down estates,” only continued to vote for Labour due to the “deluded hope of bigger hand-outs.”
He added that this “bottom” one-fifth of British citizens “supplies us with the chavs, the losers, the burglars, the drug addicts and the 70,000 people who are lost in our prisons and learning nothing except how to become more effective criminals.”
In an aside aimed at his political opponents, he said that some Labour MPs only wanted to ban the smacking of children due to their “revulsion when they see a chav belting her kids in the supermarket.”
Earlier this week, it emerged that Johnson had labelled the children of single mothers “ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate,” and accused their fathers of being too “feeble” to “take control of [their] woman.”
Labour’s David Lammy told Business Insider that Johnson’s comments revealed a “disdain for working-class people across the UK.”
“Before becoming Prime Minister, Johnson used the privilege of high profile newspaper columns to spew bigoted abuse at Muslim women, black people, single mothers, working-class people and other groups.
“This history makes him unfit to be Prime Minister, especially at a time when our country is divided and desperately needs to come back together again.”
The Conservative Party were contacted for comment.
Poverty is caused by low intelligence
Johnson has also previously claimed that income inequality may be inevitable due to the lower intelligence of some poorer people.
“Whatever you may think of the value of IQ tests,” Johnson told the Centre for Policy Studies in 2013, “it is surely relevant to a conversation about inequality that as many as 16 per cent of our species have an IQ below 85 while about 2 per cent have an IQ above 130,”
Johnson argued that “I don’t believe that economic equality is possible” because “human beings who are far from equal in raw ability.”
Johnson refuses to apologise for offensive comments
Johnson has been dogged for decades by criticism about the offensive comments he has made about groups including Muslims, black people and gay people.
As Business Insider previously revealed, in a 1998 Telegraph column about Peter Mandelson’s resignation from the Labour government, Johnson said the announcement would lead to the blubbing of “tank-topped bumboys” in “the Ministry of Sound” nightclub, and “the soft-lit Soho drinking clubs frequented by Mandy and his pals.”
He added that Mandelson’s departure would cause the “lipstick” to come away from Blair’s government.
In a separate Telegraph column, Johnson also bewailed attempts to increase equality at the BBC for gay people.
“It must be a spoof,” he wrote.
“In my hand was a magazine from something called the BBC Resources Equal Opportunities Unit. There were letters from gays asking about their “partner’s” right to a BBC pension.”
In his 2001 book “Friends, Voters, Countrymen,” Johnson compared gay marriage to bestiality, writing that “if gay marriage was OK – and I was uncertain on the issue – then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog.”
Asked about his record on Friday, Johnson refused to apologise and told LBC that his past comments had been taken out of context and were “absolute distortions” of what he had written.
“You just need to go back and look at the context,” he told LBC’s Nick Ferrari.
“So much of this stuff is disinterred with a view to distracting from the basic issues of this election.”