Boris Johnson Gets Away With Car Crash Interview, Yet Diane Abbott Is Forced To Step Down

The media viciously hounded Abbott for forgetting key facts but the foreign secretary's 'worst interview by a politician ever' won't be given the same treatment

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Say what you will about our 'definitely don't want to be Prime Minister' Foreign Secretary, but the blonde-haired mop knows how to wiggle out of almost anything.

Take, for example, his decision to slash fire services while being the Mayor of London. Here he is, in 2013, telling a London Assembly member to 'get stuffed' in response to questions on cuts in fire services.

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Or the time he was interrupted by sporadic heckling during a televised interview with the BBC. Johnson concluded people needed to stop insulting British politicians and that the 'abuse and name calling' is 'turning people off politics'.

This comes from a man who previously likened Hillary Clinton to a 'sadistic nurse in a mental hospital,' called African people 'flag-waving piccaninnies' and described Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as a 'mutton-headed old mugwump.'

For the best definition of a 'mugwump' check out the Guardian's explanation (simplest answer: 'only an insult Boris Johnson would use'.)

And so we come to BoJo's radio interview with Eddie Mair on BBC Radio 4 at the weekend. He struggled to answer basic questions about the Queen's Speech, stumbling several times when asked: 'What is the point of the Prime Minister?' and repeatedly paused and sighed, saying 'hang on a second' a number of times.

Mair asked:

'What does this Queen's speech do to ensure the criminal justice system stops treating black people more harshly than white?'

To which Boris replied:

'Well, there are measures, I believe, in the Bill on the courts, which I believe is supposed to address some of those issues... and I think one thing in particular that we are looking at is... hang on a second.'

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You can then hear papers being shuffled in the background.

Here's a short clip of the interview and former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott not mincing his words:

Many took to Twitter to criticize the Foreign Secretary's tongue-tied chat:

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Many people compared BoJo's interview to a number of interviews given by Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott during this year's snap election campaign.

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In a now famous back and forth with LBC's Nick Ferrari, Abbott gave a series of wrong figures when pressed on how Labour would pay for their pledge to recruit an extra 10,000 police officers. It was one of three interviews she obviously struggled in during the election campaign but the media went in.

Amber Rudd, the Tory home secretary, seized on the interview as a demonstration of Labour's sloppiness (they can't be trusted with budgets, remember?). The backlash she faced was so relentless, and so intense, that Abbott stepped down two days before polling day.

Johnson quite literally has no idea what he's talking and yet, still, on he trots while Abbott forgets a fact - one that's easily misplaced in election fatigue - and she's ousted.

See, that's the thing. If you're a confident, privileged member of society who's been repeatedly told you will rule this country one day, you can get away with bumbling you're way through an interview. Literally no one else would have the balls to do that. But a black, female MP who dares raise above her station? So God help you.

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