“Boris Johnson has been hanging around too long – someone please cut him down” – Keir Mudie

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s leadership now resembles the famous photo of him dangling from a zip line, and two defeats in the general election mean the end could be even closer

The famous picture of Boris Johnson hanging from a zip line in London in 2012
The famous picture of Boris Johnson hanging from a zip line in London in 2012

Football, horse racing and card games used to be my category of betting losses, but the Lib Dems just shot politics to the top of the charts.

who saw it coming For real? I was pretty confident that the Prime Minister would win one and lose one. Wakefield was a certificate, but the Tiverton result was something else.

Even the Lib Dems were not confident in advance or gave an absolute master class in expectation management.

In the early hours of Friday morning they were worried, then quietly confident, then worried again, then – finally – ecstatic.

Quite a win to say the least. As Chris Hopkins of market researchers Savanta ComRes wrote: “A majority of over 24,000 was overturned, the second majority of over 20,000 lost since the collapse of Partygate.

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Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey celebrates his party’s victory in the Tiverton and Honiton by-elections



“Yes, this is a by-election and standard by-election rules apply, but some 290 Conservative MPs have a seat that is less secure than Tiverton and Honiton and the sheer scale of this defeat is bound to reignite murmurs of coups from the Prime Minister .”

And here we go. Good news for Mr Johnson is that he will be out of the country for a while and the train strikes have turned Westminster into a ghost town.

But next week the deputies will be back and the conspiracy will continue. He’s gone by Friday, so there’s plenty of time.

This was always going to be a crunch week for Mr. Johnson. Privately, number 10 expected to lose Wakefield and squeak home at Tiverton.

It would have been difficult to lose one, but spinnable. Losing two is not good.

Despite the Prime Minister saying it would be “crazy” for him to move on, many people in SW1 think it’s crazy for him to move on. That’s a loss – for a normal person.

Thing is, this guy’s gonna stay with him. You can’t embarrass him from the apartment. He’s hell-bent on winning another election.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has rejected calls for his resignation, saying it would be “crazy”.



He calls it a legacy, and who cares what happens to the Tory party and – indeed – the country in the process.

Think of the ego we’re dealing with here. This is a man who, as a journalist, when asked about his desire to go into politics, said, “You don’t put up statues for journalists.”

Nothing about the civil service or the country or the people. A statue.

Maybe he’ll get one, but at this rate it’ll be like the end of Planet of the Apes: a deserted British beach, with a half-buried statue of Boris Johnson poking out of the sand, clutching a beer glass – complete with Imperial markings – as Charlton Heston slams into the sand and yells, “You maniac, you blew it all up.”

Looking back, we should have left him on that zipline all those years ago.

I looked back at the picture from 2012 the other night and doesn’t it sum it up perfectly? Suit and tie, Union Jack in each hand, ridiculous helmet on, just stuck there. Hovering over an incredulous crowd.

Isn’t that how he should be remembered? A buffoon that hovered briefly above us then got stuck. Hanging there, useless and ridiculous. Funny at first in its sheer absurdity.

Then, like the man himself, tragic to pathetic.

Eventually you stop laughing and say, “For heaven’s sake someone killed him.”

It has to be his own backbenchers now, but they really, really have to hurry.

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