We’re kippered by the EU! Boris brandishes a smoked fish and blasts nanny-state Brussels rules on food and drink as he takes on Jeremy Hunt in the final Tory leadership hustings
- He waved the fishy treat at the event at Excel in London Docklands
- He said a producer had been hampered by Brussels rules on food and drink
- The crowd of thousands was the largest hustings so far out of all 17 held
Boris Johnson brandished a smoked kipper on stage tonight as he blasted European Union food rules as a reason to get Brexit done.
The runaway favourite to take over as Tory leader and prime minister waved the fishy breakfast treat as he addressed thousands of party members at the Excel Centre in London.
Addressing the crowd he whipped out the plastic-wrapped fish which he said he had been handed before going on stage.
Mr Johnson claimed a kipper smoker on the Isle of Man – which is not part of the European Union – was ‘utterly furious’ because apparently his costs had been increased by EU rules he said mean each fish must be accompanied by a plastic-wrapped ice pillow.
Several thousand people were in the audience, making it the largest of all the 17 party hustings held before the winner is revealed next Tuesday.
Addressing the crowd he whipped out the plastic-wrapped fish which he said he had been handed by a national newspaper editor.
After the slapstick moment Mr Johnson failed to answer questions on whether he would shut down Parliament to sideline MPs and achieve a No Deal Brexit on October 31.
‘Pointless, expensive, environmentally-damaging health and safety, ladies and gentlemen,’ Mr Johnson said.
Hunt says he would be ‘honoured’ to serve under PM Johnson
Jeremy Hunt said it would be an ‘honour to serve’ under Boris Johnson if his rival won the contest to be Tory leader and became prime minister.
He made the admission as he was grilled over his plans for Government.
With Mr Johnson miles ahead on the betting, the Foreign Secretary was asked if he would like to keep the job if he lost next week.
He replied: ‘If I don’t win it would be a huge honour to serve Boris Johnson in a way that unites the country and the party.’
Cabinet minister Mr Hunt has made a central theme of his campaign the need to bring the party.
Tonight he reiterated his comment from previous hustings that he wants to bring Boris Johnson supporters and his own back together if he becomes prime minister.
But after the slapstick moment Mr Johnson failed to answer questions on whether he would shut down Parliament to sideline MPs and achieve a No Deal Brexit on October 31.
Reports have suggested that he is considering calling a Queen’s speech in November, which would see Parliament rise before the Halloween deadline to leave the EU.
Asked when he would bring in a Queen’s Speech if he becomes prime minister, Mr Johnson said: ‘I am not going to comment on our programme.’
The front-runner was introduced by Treasury Secretary Liz Truss, which will fuel claims that he intends to make her chancellor if he enters Number 10.
She described the 55-year-old Old Etonian and Oxbridge graduate as a ‘freedom fighter’ and an ‘insurgent’.
Mr Johnson was today facing huge pressure to rule out suspending Parliament to force No Deal – as a close ally warned they would withdraw their backing.
Former Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom said she would not go along with a move by a new PM to prorogue the Commons at a crucial point in the Brexit process.
Mrs Leadsom, a former Commons leader, said: ‘I don’t think that prorogation is the right thing to do and I don’t think a prime minister would choose to do that.’
Asked if she would go along with it if Mr Johnson took that course of action, she told BBC Radio 4’s Today: ‘No, I don’t believe I would and I don’t believe it will happen.’
Mr Johnson also ruled out working with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party at an election, saying the Conservatives did not need to do deals.
The front-runner was introduced by Treasury Secretary Liz Truss, which will fuel claims that he intends to make her chancellor if he enters Number 10
He admitted meeting the right-wing populist but subsequently heckled about doing a political pact he shouted back: ‘yes I rule it out.’
Mr Johnson was unable to firmly tell Tory members whether he is good with money.
Having answered a question on helping young children to manage money, LBC presenter and hustings moderator Iain Dale said to Mr Johnson: ‘Are you good at managing money?’
Mr Johnson replied: ‘I’m… I got into terrible… I think you asked me a question about my personal finances, no it wasn’t you it was Hannah (Vaughan Jones, previous moderator) who asked me a question.
‘What can I say, I’ve certainly spent a lot. Yes.’
Mr Dale said: ‘If you’re going to be First Lord of the Treasury then you need to be quite good at managing money, I would have thought.’
Mr Johnson concluded: ‘Yes I know but…’
Boris rejects claim that he dyes his hair blond
Boris Johnson tonight rejected as ‘outrageous’ claims that he dyes his famous blond hair.
Tory MP David Morris, a former hairdresser, said the green tinge in photos of Boris Johnson on stage (pictured in Colchester at the weekend) suggested he had been using a ‘synthetic rinse’ to even out’ the colour
Tory MP David Morris, a former hairdresser who has been a critic of Mr Johnson, said the green tinge in photos of the leadership front-runner on stage suggested he had been ‘evening out’ the colour.
A celebrity stylist also told MailOnline he could be using ‘ash toner’ to ‘clean up’ his hair.
Mr Johnson, 55, has previously sparked speculation about how he maintains his trademark mane.
In 2016 he said in a magazine interview that he dyed his hair. However, he later insisted he had been joking.
But asked about his shaggy coiffure at the hustings tonight he said: ‘No, never. I don’t usually answer personal questions but it is an outrageous suggestion.’
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