Boris Johnson confronted by single mother on live phone-in over 'illegitimate children' remarks

·Freelance news writer, Yahoo UK

Boris Johnson was today confronted by a single mother over his past comments calling children of single women “illegitimate”.

The Prime Minister was made to squirm on a live LBC phone-in as the woman, Ruth, told Mr Johnson her children suffered from the stigma of his attitude.

It re-emerged on Thursday that Mr Johnson wrote a Spectator column in 1995 calling children of single mothers “ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate”.

The caller told him on Friday: “In 1995 I had just spent 15 years raising two children on my own. They are not ill-raised, ignorant or aggressive.

Boris Johnson during the LBC phone-in on Friday (LBC)
Boris Johnson during the LBC phone-in on Friday (LBC)

“One’s a headmaster in a special needs school and one’s a sales director for a software company.

“My children suffered the stigma attached to the comments Mr Johnson made at the time.”

Mr Johnson refused to apologise for the comments.

“The issue,” he said, “as so often, is the words were taken out of context. This is done to distract.”

Presenter Nick Ferrari then took Mr Johnson to task over his previous refusals to say exactly how many children he has.

He is thought to be the father of five children, but has not confirmed the number in recent interviews.

Mr Ferrari said: “How come you’re prepared to comment on other people’s children when you weren’t prepared to talk about your own?”

Mr Johnson replied: “Well actually, I don’t comment on other people’s children.”

Mr Ferrari asked: “How many children do you have?”

Mr Johnson again refused to answer: “I love my children very much and they are not standing at this election. I am not going to comment therefore…

“I am not going to put them onto the pitch in this election people when what people want to hear is my plans for the country.”

The exchange again highlights Mr Johnson’s “trust” issues with voters ahead of next month’s general election.

Just 40 per cent of voters surveyed following last week’s ITV election debate with Jeremy Corbyn found him trustworthy.

During the phone-in, Mr Johnson also came under fire over the NHS, his refusal to attend the Channel 4 climate debate on Thursday and the whereabouts of Jacob Rees-Mogg following his controversial comments about Grenfell Tower.

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