The questions Boris Johnson didn’t answer as he launched his pitch to be Prime Minister

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

Boris Johnson has finally launched his campaign to become the next leader of the Tory party after being accused of “hiding” from his critics.

The former Foreign Secretary appeared in front of supporters to pitch himself as the man to deliver Brexit - with or without a deal.

His speech was deemed a success in terms of not making any gaffes that could threaten his position as favourite to take over from Theresa May next month.

However, with little in terms of detail during his speech, it was his answers - or lack of them - to the waiting journalists that proved to be the main takeaway from the speech.

Taking just six questions from the press, who have waited patiently for several days to question the man who wants to be the PM, Mr Johnson managed to swerve several of the questions he was asked…

Boris Johnson swerved various questions put to him following his speech (PA)

On whether he had ever broken the law

With the revelations of drug use from various Tory leadership candidates, Mr Johnson was asked if he had ever broken the law.

Rather than think of any specific occurrence, Mr Johnson gave an answer that ensured he had room to manoeuvre if any revelations came up in future.

He said he "cannot swear that I have always observed a top speed limit, in this country, of 70mph”.

Mr Johnson was questioned about his past drug use and choice of language to describe muslims (AP)

On whether he had ever taken cocaine

Michael Gove’s leadership pitch nearly ended before it began when he admitted to taking cocaine several years ago.

But Mr Johnson was much less candid in his answer when he was asked to comment on his previous confession at having used cocaine during an interview with British GQ magazine in which he said it "achieved no pharmacological, psychotropical or any other effect on me whatsoever”.

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Reluctant to elaborate, Mr Johnson told the crowd: "I think the account of this event when I was 19 has appeared many, many times.”

He then took an immediate turn away from the cocaine issue, adding: “I think what most people in this country want us to really focus on in this campaign, if I may say so, is what we can do for them and what our plans are for this great country of ours.”

Mr Johnson was accused of Islamophobia over his burka comments (Getty)

On describing Muslim women as ‘letterboxes’

The former London Mayor caused a stir last year when he wrote in his Telegraph column about burkas, and how they made Muslim wearing them “look like letterboxes”.

When challenged over his previous comments, Mr Johnson once again did not answer the specific question - and brought up the issue of how politicians speak to voters.

He said: "I want to make a general point about the way I do things and the language I use.

The latest odds in the race to be the next Tory leader (PA)

"Occasionally some plaster comes off the ceiling as a result of a phrase I may have used, or the way that phrase has been wrenched out of context by those who wish for reasons of their own to caricature.

"But I think it's vital for us as politicians to remember that one of the reasons that the public feels alienated now from us all as a breed, is because too often they feel that we are muffling and veiling our language, not speaking as we find - covering everything up in bureaucratic platitudes, when what they want to hear is what we genuinely think.”

The former Foreign Secretary remains the current favourite to be the next Tory leader (PA)

On whether he would stand up for all businesses

Mr Johnson was reported to have once said “f*** business” and was asked to clarify whether he would in fact be on the side of all businesses if he was PM.

Not referencing the reported comments, Mr Johnson instead stuck up for his support for business.

He said: ”I don't think there is anybody in the modern Conservative Party who can honestly be said to have done more to stick up for business, even in the toughest of times.

"I will stick up for them.”

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