Tory MPs blast Boris Johnson - best of the blue on blue attacks

Written by Dods staff on 10 September 2018 in Diary

There are only three certainties in SW1 now: death, taxes and slapdowns of Johnson. 

Back in the heady pre-Brexit days of early-ish 2016, top Tories were strongly opposed to explicit attacks on Boris Johnson. 

“Doing blue on bue just leads to psychodrama,” David Cameron’s communications chief Craig Oliver is said to have remarked during the Brexit campaign.

According to All Out War, George Osborne’s message to fellow Remainers was: “You can do blue on blue, but you can’t do any on Gove or Johnson.” 

How times change!

After Johnson’s claim in the Mail on Sunday that the prime minister’s Brexit plan has left the country “wrapped in a suicide vest” with Brussels’ hand on the detonator, there has been no shortage of Conservatives willing to hit out at the top Brexiteer. But some Tory MPs have been more ferocious than others…



Alan Duncan

“For Boris to say that the PM’s view is like that of a suicide bomber is too much. This marks one of the most disgusting moments in modern British politics. I’m sorry, but this is the political end of Boris Johnson. If it isn’t now, I will make sure it is later.”

Blue on blue attack ferocity rating: 10



Tom Tugendhat

“A suicide bomber murdered many in the courtyard of my office in Helmand. The carnage was disgusting, limbs and flesh hanging from trees and bushes. Brave men who stopped him killing me and others died In horrific pain. Some need to grow up. Comparing the PM to that isn’t funny.”

Blue on blue attack ferocity rating: 9



Alistair Burt

“I’m stunned at the nature of this attack. There is no justification for such an outrageous, inappropriate and hurtful analogy. If we don’t stop this extraordinary use of language over Brexit, our country might never heal. Again, I say, enough.”

Blue on blue attack ferocity rating: 9



Nicky Morgan

“Boris has to make a decision, he's either a journalist or a politician…. He knew exactly what he was doing when he was using that language... This is the second time now he has chosen deliberately incendiary language which just masks the ability to debate the issues and reflects very badly... I would not serve in a Boris Johnson cabinet.”

Blue on blue  attack ferocity ​rating: 7



James Brokenshire

“I think he is wrong on this...I think the tone that he has used isn’t right and I think that we just need to be very focused on actually moving forward with the Chequers plan."

Blue on blue attack ferocity rating: 5



Sajid Javid

“I think there are much better ways to articulate your differences. It’s a reminder for all of us in public policy, whichever party we represent, to use measured language because I think that’s what the public want to see.”

Blue on blue attack ferocity rating: 4



George Holingbery

“The world’s about a lot more than Boris… There are some very important issues, and I wish we could get back to talking about them and not about him.”

Blue on blue attack ferocity rating: 2


David Gauke

"I'm probably not a natural Boris supporter…”

Blue on blue attack ferocity rating: 1
Euphemism rating: 10




At least Johnson has been supported by the odd Brexiteer, with Nadine Dorries and Andrew Bridgen out to bat for him. Other pals may not have been quite so helpful. Such as tne anonymous close ally who is quoted in The Sunday Times' big read on Tory turmoil:

“At least you know what you are getting. People talk about politicians with skeletons in their closets. All Boris’s skeletons have skin and big tits and are walking around the West End.”








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