Dame Margaret Beckett hit Boris Johnson right where it hurts – in the popularity – during a new interview with The Big Issue.
The Labour stalwart first entered the House of Commons in 1974, but as she prepares to step down from frontline politics at the end of this Parliament, Beckett remains as sharp as ever. And the MP for Derby South, who briefly led the Labour Party after John Smith died in 1994, tore down one of the few remaining reasons people might have for voting for Boris Johnson – the idea that he would be a good laugh on a night out, thereby passing the so-called ‘pub test’…
“It used to be really galling when Boris Johnson was first elected because people talked about how funny he was,” Beckett said.
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“Don’t get me wrong, when he was on Have I Got News For You?, he was funny. But you don’t want the joke to be the prime minister.
“And what an odd way to judge somebody you want to be prime minister. People think he’s somebody you’d go for a drink in the pub with and it would be a good laugh.
“What they don’t realise is that if they went for a drink in the pub with Boris Johnson he’d be 15 hours late, he would tell them a joke but it would be one they’d heard 15 times before, and he wouldn’t buy a round. Plus, he would only be there as an excuse for getting out of the house.